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Armada, All Powerful Queen Of Portland – Chapter 2

Written by castor :: [Monday, 03 June 2013 03:07] Last updated by :: [Wednesday, 24 July 2013 08:33]

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ARMADA, ALL POWERFUL QUEEN OF PORTLAND

AND EMPRESS OF THE GREATER PORTLAND METROPOLITAN AREA

(EXCLUDING VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON)

Chapter 2

 

By Castor

 (With special thanks to Dru1076 for proofreading and editing)

 

"We plan to heavily update the city website in the coming days," said Gordon Blonan, the city manager.

He was giving a speech to the press. "There are two hundred municipal services from dog catching to building permits that need to be managed. As city manager, I want to oversee them. These will continue unabated There is also numerous state functions-corporate registries, unemployment, licensing of banks … hundreds of them. Many of these departments have offices in the city. Those that don't will be setup by the government. The same goes for federal functions; postal services; veterans affairs … etcetera."

A question came from the room "But what about money, how are we going to …?"

"We received a Spanish galleon full of treasure," Gordon said, stone-faced. "Doubloons and such. She brought it behind our office, where employees are currently categorizing the contents. This will fund the initial setup. We believe it may be from the early 17th century. She has stated she could do this continuously for the foreseeable future but is worried about inflation. All future state and federal taxes will be paid to a new revenue agency that will also be setup in the coming weeks."


 

*******


 

"What the fuck is happening to my country?" the President demanded. "What the mother-fucking goddamned fuck is happening to my country?”

In the oval office, the President was in an informal meeting with his team.

He turned to one of his advisors "Can anyone mother-fucking tell me is happening to mouth-shitting Portland?" said the President

"Things appear to be stable" said his chief domestic adviser. "No looting, no pillaging. The police inside seem to be doing a good job of staying in control.”

"No they’re fucking not." said the President. "Fuck that shit. They are not in control. The governor is not in control, the mayor is not in fucking control, and I, sure as shit, I am NOT in control. We have lost control of the situation in every fucking possible … every fucking cunt-cievable, fucked-up way.”

"We’re monitoring the situation …"

"Does Barak Hussein Obama look like a mother-fucking bitch? Because this Armada women is making me look like her mother-fucking bitch. 2.2 million fucking people are in there. That’s about 1.5 fucking percent of my fucked-up population … ooh New York Times: What’s fuck-head Jimmy-fucking-Barak-fucking-Carter going to do a-fucking-'bout it?"

"We are scrambling weapons."

"The drone has been fucking good to me," said Obama "The Seal-team-6 bitches have had my fucking back. These are the fucking options. Look alive people.”

A general piped, "We’re worried that a military strike at someone with the capabilities she has demonstrated may just provoke her.”

“I want to provoke her. I want to get her out in open ground and blow her the fuck out of the cunting water. We are at war. War not with a group, or nation, but a one single fucking cunt. I want her dead. In the ground. No longer living. Deceased. Do I make my self fucking clear?"

The group nodded.

"I am meeting constantly with senator that, ambassador this. She is making me look weak. George Bush would have put his finger up his noise and ate his brain right now, but people expect fucking leadership from me, and want me to fucking deliver."


 

*******


 

Later that afternoon Armada and Steven where walking by the Willimete river. Queen Armada was looking almost giggly.

"The river is so beautiful. People keep asking me why Portland. But come on!”

Steven could see her but also the people within the long bounds of the river side park.

"You know, you could put a coat or something over that dress," said Steven. "People are staring."

"It’s right that they stare," said Armada, "I am after all their Queen!! They should be able to look at me and gasp."

She walked up to an older man. "Hey!"

The old man looked at her "Um … are you …?"

"I don't know your question, but yes I am your Queen!! How do you do today?"

"Just walking along here with my wife." said the man. "Please don't hurt us."

"No, no! Carry on. The river is for all to enjoy."

She then paused as the man walked away. "Okay. I want to demolish this section of the park, and build the tower going right up to the river.”

Steven shook his head. "I have done a lot of work in this town … and I gotta say it’s not going to work. The south-side of the bank is very unstable. It’s really just river dirt here. You couldn't build 50 stories … it will sink into the river."

"I'm the Queen and I get my way!!!" declared Armada. "And I want a building here. To look over the river!!!"

Steven sighed and shook his head.

Armada thought about it. "Maybe we could dig like a deep foundation … lots of concrete …"

"Your spending years in the dirt. We could build it like half a mile into town and it would be fine."

"But then I would have to evict someone, and I don't want to do that. That’s … hey … can you hold on a minute? Got stuff to do!!"

And with a flash, Armada jumped up into the air and flew away.


 

*******


 

Steven wasn't precisely sure whether he should wait for her. She was his Queen after all, if that made any sense, and he could already tell she was prone to a bit of a mood swing.

So he waited. He took a notepad from his car found a park bench and started to sketch. He bought a hot dog, and thought of a tower to spire into the air.

He waited for about five hours until it was dark.

"Don't worry Casey," he told his assistant on the phone. "I got some stuff done."

"We’re collaborating," Casey accused. "Your collaborating. This weirdo has taken our life, our liberty, and we’re building her pleasure palace."

"It’s an artistic challenge," said Steven "Besides she’s not that bad.”

"I was just reading. You would be surprised how many people were either killed or went to prison after World War II for collaborating with the Nazis. It wasn't just the fake Presidents or whatever, but sometime the fake President’s dog-walkers."

"This will work out" said Steven "Besides I like the artistic challenge."

"I don't want any part of this," Casey said.

"Okay, we still have that job in Provo. You can take lead on that. But I am sure they’re not going to prosecute the regime architect’s model-builders."

"You would be surprised."


 

*******


 

Armada meanwhile flew across town in an instant to a raging fire in an artist’s loft. Firemen where on the scene. She landed.

"What’s the problem, officers?" she asked the fire chief.

He gestured. "Well, that. We don't know if anyone is still in there."

Armada looked at the blaze. "Hmmm … four actually. One in the first unit, a potter, and three in the back doing something I am not sure of the word …"

Armada burst through a wall and flew into the inferno, bursting through walls to find the potter. He had hit his head on a wheel. She picked him up and flew out in a couple of seconds … to the fire department’s amazement.

"See that he gets the help he deserves," she said.

She flew back in. Behind a large metal wall people were doing acts that best not described in polite society … and its not like it was sexual or anything. She flew into the wall and found them engaged … in well smoke inhalation for one. She picked them up and brought them outside

"That’s all of them," she said to the fire chief. "Now get your men to stand back.”

The fire captain did so, and as the firemen left the building she let out a mighty blast of cold air from her super-powered lungs, covering the building in the blast. And the fire was gone.

By now there was a bit of a crowd outside the blaze as there often is. They started to cheer.

"Queen Armada!"

"Super-President!!"

"Go Queen go!"

"I didn't expect such personal service."

Queen Armada turned and gave them a royal wave … then flew into the empty building. Her eyes found what she was looking for. There was an electrical panel near a propane tank. She landed up and opened it up to confirm her suspicions.

She flew out the buildings. "I have more stuff to do."


 

*******


 

At the Rockwell Electrical Company things where going pretty good. Mr. Rockwell wasn't exactly sitting on a pile of cash, but in a metaphorical sense he was. Late that afternoon he was drinking sweet, sweet coffee (he liked it that way) sitting on a leather sofa, admiring the brick wall of his office.

Yep, an impenetrable brick wall. Nothing was going to go wrong with that.

I mean his own contractors told him steel and plywood would be better, but he liked the sturdiness of brick. It conveyed permanence. Stability.

Plus the red and grout patterns where southing to the eye, really its hard to go wrong with brick.

I mean seriously, I know its not always in fashion but who doesn't like a good old fashioned brick wall?

Which is why he completely ignored the large green covered women who flew though his window and grabbed him, and in an instant they where flying through the sky.

"Eric Rockwell?" said Queen Armada "At 1457, 236th Street, Your company claimed in a building permit you were using Expaso brand A Plus grade Romex in construction. Instead you used inferior C grade Romex. It created a fire hazard, and a fire happened."

They flew through the air the wind blowing through Eric’s face "What’s going on?"

"I am taking you to jail for your crimes. I am going to order a full inspection of other businesses you wired to make sure your penny pinching ways don't endanger other lives!!!"

"You can't do this!" said Eric "Who are you …"

"I am your Queen" she said "Be glad I don't drop you right now!”


 

*******


 

Steve heard about what had happened on the radio going home (actually it was an Ipad with a radio functionality but it amounted to the same thing).

The fire had been put out and Eric Rockwell had been sentenced by the Queen to spend 5 years for his crime. There had been some criticism of her unilateral act without courts or juries, however some where glad of her swift action. That’s the thing about America. You could always get two separate opinions of everything.

Steve chuckled. However his chuckle was starting to loose a bit of its sparkle. He remembered to note the romex grade in the new building.


 

*******


 

Meanwhile in Blonan’s office he was receiving a report on the goings on from a subordinate.

"We have 2500 pieces of gold, 3000 of silver. In about 500 of the pieces the silver is mixed with platinum. Apparently that was a common method of forgery in the day as platinum was fairly cheep and …"

Blonan nodded. "So how much is it worth?"

The subordinate nodded. "Open market: 1,123,456,234 dollars. That’s today, we’re lucky to get total value on that because it may fluctuate the market. We have found a financial company in New York that will let us lend on it for 10% to protect against inflation."

"I'll run it by her" he commented. He looked at his young subordinate. She was a pretty girl, perhaps a tad too thin. "So, bottom line: a little over a billion dollars."

Organizing all of the state and federal offices in town and in several towns over was proving rather difficult, however he was managing. Blonan had a head for numbers and understood the value of a good org chart.

There was a tendency in bureaucracy, as he knew, for things to go up and up. His job was now to catch it and organize it. He could do that.

One can be surprised in government how uncontroversial most things are. The laws that organized, say, river navigation were largely uncontroversial. This went deeper then one might imagine. 90% of American government was surprisingly uncontroversial. Still he realized at some level the 10% would get angry at him, but well … best to be a grey bureaucrat not noticing that his colleague’s thong strip was sticking out of her pants a bit.

And it was a nice thong to.


 

*******


 

The next day at his office Steven got a phone call from Queen Armada. It was rather surprising. Usually she appeared out of nowhere, Native-American style as they used to do in old movies. To get a phone call felt rather impersonal.

"Sorry about yesterday." said the Queen "But I am very busy, lot of stuff to set up."

"It’s okay," said Steven. "I heard about the fire thing."

"And meetings with sanitation departments, power departments, there’s problems with the post office. I have to meet some shipping companies … some trade companies don't want to ship here anymore and I have to set them straight. Really it’s a lot of work, more then I thought it would be."

"Cities are complicated things," said Steven "Just keeping the grocery stores open."

"Right!! So right. So much time and energy. On top of that I spent the night chasing a rapist who was in the southeast section of the city. I got some muggers too, the jerks."

"I didn't expect you would have such a hands-on style of management," said Steven.

"Well, I have got superpowers. This is my city, it’s my job to protect it. TO make it thrive, that’s what I need to give it."

"You and your city," said Steven.

"Your city too, really," Said Queen Armada "Why don't you, on your lunchbreak, go and pick up some litter."

Steven chuckled. "I'll do that. I think I got what I need from you so far. But give me a couple of weeks to get some sketches going and maybe show you some mock-up models either on the computer or in miniature.”

"I like the little models," said Armanda. "It lets me feel like I am Godzilla and can rampage around them."

Steven half chuckled, until he thought about it, and chuckled some more. "So do I."

"When I have some time I'll come over and look at what you have," she said "And don't forget my throne-room. I want that to be spectacular. With just amazing lighting, and a throne and a place for people to lie at my feet."

"Including me?" Said Steven.

"Especially you." Said Armada.


 

*******


 

And so for the next couple of weeks things developed. There was some problem with grocery deliveries and for a couple of days there were some shortages, however that slowly smoothed out. A lot of the people who left the city in the initial wave trickled back in.

The state government wanted to put a station on the road to check passports. Armada rankled at it, but acquiesced, and they began construction of checkpoints. An office was setup in the country to issue passports to the new citizens of the sovereign domain of Portland.

Other offices where formed. A state department of sorts. Armanda did not send out ambassadors yet, but some came to her. She greeted them in her temporary office, in the old mayor’s office, with some courtesy. Interior departments, a copyright office, others showed up. Armada took the position that US law would be in place until or if she changed it, and since people where familiar with that, it went well enough.

A number of the judges however rankled at her occasional arrest of people and orders to throw them in jail. They went on strike. However Armada simply appointed new judges for those who wouldn't go back to the bench.

A system was setup. Those who where captured normally would be processed normally. Those who she personally arrested would go to jail, however they had the right to an attorney and could setup a follow-up hearing with her to present evidence. This satisfied most people, though it was just in its beginnings.

The press … the newsmedia in town … they where still not sure what to make of it all. There was a lot of protest for the first couple of weeks; however a news story can't stay static. It needs to change everyday. The editorials went through permutations that she was evil, that she was crazy, misguided … or maybe nothing much to worry about.

News in America was written with the unspoken assumption that one could do something about it. With her at least that was missing … which made it odd. At least no one was trying yet.

During this time Armada would fly over to Stevens office. He managed to rig with the buildings owner a window that could really open. She would look at his drawings and cardboard models, make suggestions, and sometimes orders. He studied her suggestions, but also her.

The stories in the press were that she was an invader from another planet. He knew that wasn't true. She was somebody, but she gave little clue of who. Underneath her autocratic demeanour was something human. Flashes of wit, a smile. He thought perhaps that this was like Star Trek, if he talked to her the right way perhaps he could make the computer inside of her blow-up in a logic loop. Find the opening of humanity. However, the more he talked to her, the more he wanted to talk to her … just to talk to her.

"I want a grand ballroom. I can waltz there, and have epic parties with all the best people," said Armada.

"And give them ice-cream later," teased Steven.

"Do you like to dance, Mr. Norton?" asked Armada.

"I haven't danced in years." He shook his head.

"That’s a shame; you look like you would be a good dancer."

And with that the Queen got out of her chair and did a small pirouette in his office. He took her hand and they danced. Well she danced. He moved his feet in time to an inaudible music (which was easy) but it was the same thing.


 

*******


 

Meanwhile in Washington …

(Okay, we’re talking about Washington DC here. Not Vancouver, Washington which was a Portland suburb on the other side of the Columbia River, and a decent sized city in its own right that had for some reason been removed from the zone of control. Why it had the same name as the much larger Vancouver in British Columbia is too complicated to get into here. Why Washington State had the same name as the nation’s capital was another interesting story. Originally it was going to be called Columbia, which the people wanted. When it was debated in Congress someone unilaterally decided to change it without talking to anyone in Seattle or anything. Even then people realized it was going to be confusing. And it was. But actually things were more or less moving smoothly in Vancouver (Washington [not District of Columbia Washington]) and there was little of interest.)

But meanwhile, in Washington Obama seethed. The press wasn't against him. That was true. But it was against something. He was weak. Blithering.

So much of the armed forces were elsewhere that to simply offer a response took time. The fact that the city under siege seemed, according to all reports, not be breaking into panic, somehow made it worse. A city like that could demand service. But a city in stasis … well …

"Fuck you," he said to no one. "Fuckety-fuck-fuck.”

Obama seethed. He wasn't getting a lot of sleep. He knew his predecessor would endlessly brag about how much sleep he got. He was well rested, President Bush. That no one could take from him. But Obama was worried. He met daily to brainstorm options. He knew if he was going to try a military strike he would have to really try a military strike.

Several drone attacks had been ordered on her when she was flying … but they missed. She was faster then a speeding bullet, and the drones where speeding bullets. Ergo. Worse, she had flown up and grabbed one as it was flying to a speech she was giving at an orphanage, and it made him look like the bad guy. Him. The President.

He needed a good response. He had about 884 people killed as President. Drone attacks in the Middle East, assassinations. He felt bad about them in his way. But he had never, of course, killed anyone personally … one-on-one. He discovered more then anything he wanted to … because he hated her so.


 

*******


 

"So we’re not going to have a defence department, I can take care of that. Our small size suggests further downsizing. Your saying lower the marginal tax rate to 21% is all we can do?" said Armada.

She was meeting with financial advisors. One of them, Ho, chimed in: "Thats all I would advise. The shipwreck stuff would just be inflationary. You know that. We’re seeing a lot of savings, combining state and federal departments. We have Medicare costs to consider."

She paused and slapped the desk. "I want to create universal free health care for all. That’s a good idea. Lets do that by cutting defence spending. We can do that."

"That’s going to be expensive," observed Ho.

"Make it work. And I want real health care. No fake insurance stuff. Just walk into an office … and there you go."


 

*******


 

Steven worked out in his gym the next morning as usual. He had actually been loosing a little weight in the last weeks. Some in the city were quietly cheering Armada on, proclaiming she was the cause of all the good things in the city. He thought maybe had cut a little carbs.

He was placing 800 pounds weights on the machine when he turned to see her. It barely produced a shock any more.

However, the realization that he was shirtless and wearing socks tennis shoes and a fairly small briefs did. His pecs were glistening in the kind of way that in a romance novel may have been charming but now seemed a tad embarrassing.

She, of course, was wearing one of her endless green robes/gowns … or was it the same one? He stared a second at her heaving breasts. Yep they where heaving just a tad.

He looked down. "Sorry Queen."

“Why don't you say ‘My Queen’, its more proper." suggested Armada. "Queen is just a title after-all.”

"I was just doing a workout when you came in … my Queen"

"You can call me Armada" she said.

"Do you have a last name? Or is that your last name?"

"It’s my name," said Armada. Armada looked at him with curiosity. "Your a very strapping man my subject. I had hardly noticed at all. Nope."


 

She put her hand for a second on his stomach. Then removed it quickly.

Steven gestured towards the weights. "Just working my legs today."

Armada walked off. "These are large."

Armada put her pinkie against the leg press. It lifted smoothly. "But so light."

"Well, you’re supposed to use your legs."

Armanda nodded "Yes that why, may I?"

"You are my Queen"

Armada climbed into the leg press and started to press. And press … and press.

Then she sped up. She did about, well … her body was moving so fast as she went that the machine moved back and forth, and that made it hard to count. Lots. A hundred in minute … then a second.

Which after about five minutes was too much. It wasn't that the iron was too light for the weights, but the movements heated up the machine so much that something melted … and with a clank the 800 pound weights fell.

"I'm sorry" said the Queen" for ruining your machine. Um … send a bill to the office. I will replace it.”

"It’s okay … it’s an old machine," said Steven. He would end up sending a bill, but now he wanted to seem magnanimous. "So why are you here?”

"Oh. Why was I here? I wanted to go to like a furniture boutique and talk about beddings … linens."


 

Steven shook his head "Busy this morning, but …"

"I am your all-powerful Queen!"

"You’re my all powerful Queen."

"And I was going to fly you. I found this really neat store … in Paris."

"Um … Paris?"

"Ever been there. I actually haven't."

Steven paused. No … he hadn't actually been to Paris either. "Can I get dressed first?"


 

*******


 

And so they flew to Paris. She held him in her arms. It was actually quite pleasant. No wind or anything.

She told him that she was making like a bubble around them of normal air . They where going to go many times faster then the speed of sound, to avoid damage she was actually flying over the pacific around the Indian Ocean and Africa all the way to Paris. Without the bubble he wouldn't have lasted five seconds.

However the bubble was pleasant. She was pleasant. Her arms held him tightly and with perhaps a touch of gentleness. It was a strange mix of soft and hard, that never quite felt one or the other. They flew over the ocean, quite high up, and he could see how the clouds met the waters. he had heard the oceans and the air were really one thing, and while there was separation he could see at times how tenuous it was. Except for the water part.

He moves a free hand once and touched her hair. It was pure soft, if slightly tangled. It wasn't the most gorgeous salon quality of hair but it was hair. And it was hers. He smiled.

After about half an hour they reached Paris, and found the boutique she was talking about. He had assumed it would be like Louis the 17th, but it felt very modern. Kind of goth too. Called "Chateau Ravene" it felt a bit like really high end hot topic. Still she was enthralled as they walked around it. Loving the uses of blacks, inquiring if they could get things in greens. The mix of the abstract and the certain reminded him of her.

After spending an hour, and using her royal credit card spending a lot of money (they didn't accept doubloons) they had lunch in a little French cafe. He was dressed fairly causally in slacks and a button-up shirt. Still he felt very underdressed. He had heard that Paris was a surprisingly formal city in most things. Everyone there wore ties. He felt like a tourist. Which he supposed he was. She, wearing a garment that had portions that could be described as a bathing suit, strangely felt more in line.

"I do love escargot," she said "I didn't expect to like it. It’s one of those things you hear about but never expect."

He looked around. Paris was beautiful. Truly beautiful. "Do you wish you had conquered here instead?"

She studied the city. "No. I am glad I have what I have. It’s a good city, and I am glad for it. Paris would been very French after a while. Portland is its own thing. I have dreamed of it forever it seems. And now I have it."

She smiled. "And I met you. You’re one of my favourite subjects."

"Thank you" said Steven. "And I will pick up the bill. Its only right to occasionally do it with the client.”

"Well, more wine then. Waiter, the Queen of north-western Oregon demands wine!"


 

*******


 

It was around 3:00 o’clock when he got to his office. He realized he should have called, but oh well.

It was an odd sensation. Due to time zone differences he had actually had dinner and enjoyed an evening stroll through Paris. Yet it was early afternoon there. Fun he supposed. And the flights had been easier.

"Where were you?" Micka said. "We worried sick!"

"Paris," he said "We flew there to look at linens."

Micka shook her head and chuckled. "You’re falling for her right? God man, that’s silly!”

There wasn't precisely a rule against that, like in medicine or law, but he took offence. "No, she’s just an eccentric client we have to entertain … by flying around the world sometimes.”

"You like her. Admit it" Mika said

He paused. "Yes, she’s not a monster. I can rule that out."

Casey looks over. "This is insane. Don't you realize it? She may seem pleasant, but think of the cost to the city. the destruction, the loss of freedom. We’re slaves, man. We’re her slaves."

Micka chimed in. "Reading a story the other day in the tabloid …"

She went to the computer and fetched it to bring on a screen : I WAS IN THE QUEEN OF PORTLANDS HAREM.

"She doesn't have a harem" said Steven. "That’s ludicrous."

"How do you know?" said Casey. "She may have a 100 sex slaves waiting in her basements. Of all genders and sexes … actually that’s the same thing. But the point is: she’s using you. Using her feminine wiles to enslave you while she’s using her muscles to do the same thing to the city.”

"Her feminine wiles aren't getting to me. Yes I would classify her as a friend. She said I was one of her favourite subjects"

"Oh for Christ’s sake!" said Casey.


 

*******


 

Meanwhile in Salem the governor was at a golf course. Things where calming down a bit. No one had yet offered to impeach her, which was nice. Her re-election effort may get more complicated. It was said that Washington state was one of the most conservative states in America, with Seattle in the middle. In Oregon that was less true, but there was truth. Maybe she should just retire …

Or maybe a supergirl would fly overhead with a 2000 ton aircraft carrier in her arms.

Yes that was possible. Not really of course. But what are you going to do?

The supergirl was standing over her now, landing on the on the golf course. The ship was totally blocking out the sky, and damaging the trees. It was nice that she they where on a small tree. Underneath a ship you get to realize just how large these things were.

"I found this my territorial waters," said Armada.

"Did you talk to the Captain? Maybe he knows something about it" Said the governor "I was just going for a round of golf."

"Ooh! Can I play?" said the Queen.

"Sure. It’s just the 8th hole we can put you in. What’s your handicap?"

"It used to be three, but I haven't played in a long time," admitted the Queen.

Armada started to lower the ship. There were slight screams to be heard from the people on it.

"Um … I am going to put this back in the ocean, then we can play. How about you play the ninth hole. That’s a good break-in spot"

The governor nodded.

“And don't let the ship come anywhere near Portland again. No navy ships."

"Talk to Washington about that," said the governor. And Armada flew off to deal with the ship.

The governor talked to her caddy. "Can you get a set of clubs from the clubhouse. I don't want to have to share."


 

*******


 

"Starting June first," said Mr. Walters the former mayor, "There will be universal health care for all. All doctors can and will bill directly to the state using system I have been appointed to manage."

Walters, in a previous life, had been not only mayor but a health care administrator. "Dentistry and plastic surgery are not covered, but all medical costs including routine check-ups have no co-pay. It’s a different system then now, but it shouldn't be difficult. There will be no death panels. Currently we will cover all existing conditions that Portland will be able to treat.”

"What will be the cost?" asked a reporter

"Tax rates for all classes will be lowered five-percent below the existing rate before the Queen came to power. This will still cover medical rates."

"Are more doubloons involved?" asked another reporter.

"No. Just removal of inefficiencies in the system."


 

*******


 

Armada wanted to get started on the site.

"I know you say that it will take years to do the foundation," she told Steven "But I can build it much faster."

"So you want to construct the thing yourself?" he shrugged

"Of course. I mean, I could do all the construction in the city in 1/10 the time but I want to keep the people employed."

The plans to build along the rivers edge would require a foundation 140 feet of reinforced cement. She ordered huge amounts of it to be brought in on trucks to the site. He wasn't quite sure everything was going to be up top, but that would be safe and conservative. And she wanted to break ground.

The day of the event Stevens came to watch wearing his hard hat. She came too, flying in. A curious crowd was watching.

"Now see the start of my grand palace, my loyal subjects. Soon you will kneel at its might as you would kneel to me. Kneel!

They were used to that by now. The kneeling process was relatively quick and painless.

Steven got up and looked at her … as she dove into the ground. In minutes the dirt was starting to pile up by the side in a large pile moving like a snake upwards. He was impressed. It was strange watching her like this. To him perhaps more than others. He wondered about the harem … surly that was just a story to sell tabloids …

She then moved to the concrete. And he was starting to see a problem. Water was starting to seep in. It was impossible, of course, to divert the Willamete River. It was quite large. She burned it into steam as it came in but it was coming faster … but she quickly poured in the concrete and the steel using heat beams to melt the steel together and poured the concrete into long flat rows and heated that with her vision.

It was about an hour of very hard, very fast work … but by and by something that looked like a foundation for a skyscraper was forming.

She then flew up to Steven and hovered next to him. "And you, the doubter subject, said it couldn't be done."

Which turned out to be true, because seconds later it all collapsed into a large pile in the dirt.


 

*******


 

They where in her office in the mayor’s building that evening . Steven was talking to the pacing Armada. "Concrete just needs time to set. No amount of heat vision will make it dry any faster … it just needs time. And rapidly melted and frozen steal is brittle. It was just not going to work.”

"Are you making fun of me?" said Armada "I am your Queen!!"

"You can't make a foundation like that!" said Steven.

"I can do anything I want. I am all powerful. I am … you were talking about maybe finding a site downtown?”

And Steven laughed. He laughed loudly.

Then he grabbed her. And he kissed her, lifting her of the ground and spinning her in the air. Despite the fact that she was so strong she was surprisingly light.

"Such improprieties," said the Queen as they broke for air. "I should … I should put you in a dungeon, and …"

And then she kissed him back. And the world was beautiful. He moved his hand through her hair dropping her crown and her mask. He looked at her eyes, her real eyes, and saw beauty.

"Steven … we shouldn't …"

But they kissed … and they kissed some more. Until Seal-Team 6 entered the room.

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