This Creative Life

Welcome to the creative work of Alan White, head writer and producer of "FEEDBACK; A HERO'S CALLING," now at Broken Sea. The "Feedback" in question is Matthew Atherton, My Hero. He and other heroes of mine have links found down the left side of these pages. Enjoy!

Friday, May 11, 2007

"A Friend In Deed"

This is the original story which has become the audio drama.

“A Friend In Deed”
A Feedback fan-fiction piece
by Alan White

“I don’t know where I am but I know I don’t like it
Open my mouth and out pops something spiteful
Words are so cheap but they can turn out expensive
Words like conviction can turn into a sentence”

Usually when someone played their iPod so loud that I could hear the song, I got aggravated. If I wanted to hear their music, I’d be listening to it on my own iPod. If I hadn’t left mine home, I’d be drowning the tinny little sound out. The guy in front of me was obviously just from the gym and he was still in a zoned-out, music-soaked world all his own. He was taking a little too long at the ATM, but the longer I waited for him, the better I could make the song out. It was a ditty that I used to love. In fact, I was discovering that I still loved it. Its catchy tempo lifted my spirits and I found my foot tapping. It was taking me back to the days when Molly Ringwald was the media darling and I dreamed of living her “Pretty In Pink” fairytale ending on my side of the tracks.

Unfortunately, my happy ending hadn’t come until much later and it hadn’t lasted.

The song was still as good as it always was and behind the iPod owner’s back, I mouthed the words to myself.

“Whistling in the graveyard,
Calling up your girlfriend,
Just try to make her understand,
You’re squeezing the telephone like it was her hand
No questions (So many questions)
She’s gonna catch you out boy
It all seems so underhand
But she the only thing that ever made you feel like a man,

I was on the verge on closing my eyes and throwing my head up and down, heading into a silent Ducky-dance when I saw him punch the keys of the ATM with his closed fist. I jumped at the sudden aggression. Then I was concerned. I guess because I was already brought out of my shell by the song and I didn’t keep my response to myself.

“Hey guy ... I need to use that after you–leave it in one piece, yeh?”

He spun around on me, his face twisted in rage. It looked like someone else’s expression on the front of this guy’s head. There wasn’t an ounce of anger in the posture of his body. His hands were open, his back straight, his bare arms (where the iPod was stationed on a band) relaxed. Yet I danced backwards a little and barked an involuntary yip at the sheer hatred in his eyes.

“One-hundred, thirty-six dollars in overdraft fees?” he growled overloud, as if he couldn’t hear himself. “How the hell do they think they can get away with charging me that much?!”

As I realized he actually was asking me, I knew he hadn’t heard my little comment when he had hit the ATM keys. Of course not–General Public was tearing it up too loudly for him to know I had even been behind him, let alone had spoken. The hatred on his face wasn’t directed toward me at all, but towards the bank.

What a strange hatred it was. Why didn’t the rest of him know how angry his face was?

I hunched my shoulders and raised my eyebrows–the universal sign language for ‘Dude, I have no idea.’

Then he twisted slightly toward the ATM again and his leg shot straight up and out into the cash machine’s metal face. His foot crashed through the console up to the ankle. The sound shattered the boulevard silence and spat electricity like a ruptured blood vessel up his leg. I did more than dance backward that time but I hadn’t anticipated the curb and went sprawling backwards onto my butt into the street. Embarrassed and scared, I did what anyone would do in my situation. I yelled at him.

Again, his body seemed as though it hadn’t even moved. As if suddenly, it was just now in a new pose which happened to have intersected with an ATM machine. I saw it move, kick, and destroy, but it looked as though it was ... as though it was ... an “IT”.

Aw crap.

The world had been slowly turning into a strange and fantastic place over the last few months. Things that used to be limited to comic books and science-fiction novels were streaking across the skies of cities. Not many people let the change affect their daily lives, but it was always good for water-cooler conversation. Most people who had witnessed the sights didn’t even believe what they saw. I had been one of those.

This thing in front of me, it looked like a man. It’s skin looked real–it had body hair! But nothing could move and then stopped moving with this kind of precision unless it was mechanical. The face, still gnarled in anger, was acting independently from the rest of it–as if running on a different program than the one that made it walk, made it punch, and made it kick.

Striking like a snake, it darted from the ATM and straddled me in the street–so fast I didn’t register it moved until it had my shirt bunched in both its fists.

“You were waiting for that machine, right?”

I choked a little bit, but I could still breathe and speak. “Nevermind dude ... don’t need it anymore ...”

“But I need you to,” it said. Suddenly I was a meatsack going heels over head as it flipped me from the pavement. I slammed against it, now back to back. I felt my vertebrae whip against the shape of him like beads along a lash. My legs hung against his legs. I didn’t watch where we were going, or how, because at that point I screwed my eyes as tight as they could go and screamed for all I was worth.

“Put him down.”

It took a few moments for me to realize the thing had spoken again. We had stopped and I was drawing breath for another round of oh-my-god-im-going-to-die-right-now screaming. All the will I thought I had was being made a mockery in this thing’s fists. And who was it talking to anyway?

I opened my eyes. I screamed again. It was holding me out over the boulevard under its arms that looked like straight, inflexible marble.

Behind him on the roof stood his twin. But there was a stark difference with this other one. His body was slightly trembling beneath a black shiny jumpsuit. His gloves were knotted in fists, and he appeared clearly distressed, trying to hold back his ... what was it? Fear?

When the machine-man who was dangling me said, “You sure you want me to do that?” I realized the other one had been the voice I heard. There again I realized the stark difference between them. Although the voices were identical, there were two radically different emotions.

“I want you to control yourself and stop hurting people.”

And the eyes. The one who had just spoken had the same intense stare as the machine, but his eyes seemed furrowed with empathy.

This thing hurt people already?

“I am in control. That’s why I’m hurting people.”

I discovered that those who are about to die are apparantly infused with a type of madness. “Why are there two ... of you?” I said. “What ... what the hell ... ?” That was the best I could do.

“I’m so sorry sir,” said the one with the shiny jumpsuit. “My name is Feedback and this assailant is a creation of my own fault, but I’m going to get you out of this. I promise.”

Well, that clarified what the slanted “F” across his upper chest was for.

“How do you know I’m your creation?” The gym-shorts-and-athletic-tee-wearing version said. “With your memory, how do you know that I’m not the original?”

“Feedback” suddenly went a little pale. What “Negative-Feedback” had said clearly struck a nerve. But frankly, I couldn’t care less who begat whom. My armpits were numb and the vision of splintered legs and a shattered pelvis was making my eyes water like a little girl’s.

“Listen,” said the costumed one, “If you’ll safely release that citizen, you and I can go back to Tech Support and we can run some tests. If you’re the original ... then you can wear the costume. It really doesn’t matter as long as we’re doing better than ... than the way we are now.”

The creature went immobile for a few seconds, even in its face. I thought maybe the costumed one had found a way to disable it with some kind of logic puzzle, except what he had said was not particularly logical to me. It was, however, hella compassionate. Made me wish for a second that I was “Feedback’s” evil clone.

With a jerk, I was suddenly back from the edge. The sandpapery grey surface of the roof was inches away from my shoe heels. The thing holding me had not changed expression. It hadn’t so much as blinked. Unceremoniously, it then dumped me. I don’t know why I collapsed so completely to the grainy roof surface. I didn’t want to consider how or why my legs hadn’t tried to support me. I levered myself up on my arms and tried to climb to my feet. Nothing happened. Fear exploded in me. I don’t know why, but I looked to Feedback instinctively. The costumed man came to me and crouched by my side.

“Are you alright?”

My throat squeezed shut when I tried to answer. I knew I could still speak, but saying aloud what I was thinking was too horrible to contemplate. I could only shake my head.

“It’s going to be alright,” he said. “Just relax, okay? I’m going to carry you.”

He hooked an arm under my legs and another under my arm, shouldering my elbow around his neck. Suddenly it was like I was five. I was going to bury my face in the crook of his neck when two hands snatched the chance away from me. They gripped Feedback at the sides of his head from behind. The rictus of agony that suddenly etched across his face made me gasp. An inch from the bridge of my nose, fingers dug into Feedback’s temples and the fingertips clawed into his shut eyes. Feedback’s whole body went rigid under me and I felt his arms knotting in torment, curling me against him.

“Let me go,” I barked.

“I ... can’t ... ”

I didn’t know if he meant that he couldn’t or he wouldn’t.

The other ... the false ... Feedback stood over the both of us, gripping my rescuer’s head like a vise on a melon, and said, “We won’t have to worry about which one is the original if I’m the only one alive.”

Sparks of electricity spat out through Feedback’s clenched teeth. A smell like hot coppery pennies filled my nose.

“STOP!” I screamed not for myself, but for Feedback. He was dying. This man was dying trying to save me.

Nothing I could do would work. This other thing, inhuman in every way, was chugging through my life and Feedback’s life like a sabotaged freight train. The death rattle in Feedback’s throat grated loose and his body collapsed underneath me. I sprawled across him, all my will gone. The unmoved, paralyzed face of the imposter looked down on us, observing us.

What was it waiting for?

As if it heard my thoughts, the thing struck down quickly on me. I was almost relieved.

* * *

Why I woke up again, I have no idea. I also had no idea where I was as I did so. It looked like a very nice place, certainly. The walls were plaster, white, and brightly lit. The ceilings were high and also plastered with a smooth finish. There were pictures on the walls, as if I was either in an office or someone’s home. The pictures were large and framed. The image under the glass was a flat drawing of a poster. A cartoon. It looked like Wonder Woman.

It was Wonder Woman.

I blinked and tried to change position, digging my fingers into a carpeted floor. It wasn’t until I was able to sit up that I remembered my injuries and how dead I though my spine had been. My hips and legs were all a-tingle now, waking up from the blunt trauma of being manhandled like laundry.

And then I remembered my assailant.

And then I remembered Feedback.

With the speed of panic, I spun around. My head shrieked with pain and I couldn’t react to what I saw as I would have liked to. Negative Feedback was sitting in a recliner. His elbows were on the armrests and his fingers were steepled. His fingertips met at the junction between his dirty blonde eyebrows. He had changed his gym togs, and was now in flip-flops, a baggy plaid pair of sweats, and a college jersey who's name I did not recognize. I could tell he had showered because his hair was now dark and shiny, close to his head. Perversely, it made him look even more like the original, but I knew this man was the false one because the real Feedback was lying face down in his uniform, dead at the chair’s skirt. Why would a machine bother to take a water shower?

My breath grew shallow. The heaviness in my chest grew painful. “What,” I said.

“I changed my mind,” the clone said. “Being the only living Matt Atherton is not enough.”

I just watched him. Apparently this change of mind involved me.

“I want you to know something,” it said. “Matthew was not the only superhero in the world. He wasn’t the best one, either.”

I wanted to shrug. I wanted to pretend that nothing this crazy duplicate did or said affected me. Truth was, the heaviness in me was growing and I was having a hard time breathing without making a childlike noise. “I’ve never even heard of Feedback before tonight,” I said.

“Well. You’re in for a treat.” He bent over and jerked the body off the floor by handfuls of taut reflective material. Feedback’s costume didn’t tear as his weight sagged in the others’ fists. It stood up and carried Feedback’s remains to an open doorway off the room. With a gruntless flex, he threw the body into the dark. The sound of the weight hitting the ground made me flinch as if Feedback could still feel it. I had to bite my lip. The clone said, “You’re going to meet more than one tonight.”

“This is his house, isn’t it? Feedback’s?”

“It’s MINE!!”

I jumped at the sound of fury and watched as the face didn’t change. It didn’t look like this thing knew how to truly menace its prey, but that scared me even more. Like a cat with a mouse, it just seemed to be following its own programming expressionlessly with no chance to convince it to do otherwise. I couldn’t change its mind, but I couldn’t change my own either. “Why?” I said, hating how small my voice had shrank. “What does any of this have to do with me?”

“I need to figure something out,” the thing said. “And I need help doing it.”

An unbidden syllable escaped me.

“Oh, you’ll help me,” he said. “Because you want to live.”

“What do you want?”

“I want to know what I’m missing.”

“Dude... I was just waiting to use the ATM ... I’m not a part of any of this at all ... ”

“Do you have any friends?”

Fear made my chest squeeze even tighter and I had to gasp for breath. I nodded weakly.

“No, I mean real friends. Friends that would do anything for you.”

First I didn’t understand, and then I paid attention to what it was asking. It must have saw the look on my face as I started to review the people in my life. “Not do anything for me,” I said.

“Do you really want me to kill you?”

“What! I’m answering you!”

“You’re mocking me.”

“Look, you asked me a serious question and I gave you a serious answer. I’m doing whatever the hell you want me to do–“

”You have no real friends?”

“No! No. Okay? I ... I made some mistakes. Most of the good friends I had I met through my wife. When we broke up last year, they all stayed with her.”

“Not real friends at all then.”

“No. Well, to her they are. Which actually is good because ... like I said, I made some mistakes.”

This creature actually seemed to be thinking about the information I gave it.

“Then maybe I should kill you.”


“You can’t help me.”

“Why, because I have no friends–?”

The doorbell rang from downstairs. It had a distant chime that completed the picture of a nice two-story home in my mind. The clone looked at me. “I’m going to bring that person upstairs. If you are not here when I return with them, I’m gong to kill them.”

With that he left the chair and came straight for me. He lifted me by my upper arms and placed me onto the couch. It was almost as though he were trying to take care with me this time. Then he left through another door, leaving me alone. I thrust all thoughts of escape away from me. I had already gotten one person killed ...

When he returned, he had a radiant beam-like smile on his face, inappropriate in every way, shape, and form. It set ice water in my veins. Following him was a kid who seemed almost half the clone’s height. I don’t know why I thought of him as young and not just short. He had curly hair, googly eyes and a big smile on his face. He bounced lightly on a big pair of spotless sneakers that peeked out from oversized jeans.

“Darren,” the clone said to the guest, “This is a guy I met at the ATM.”

This ‘Darren’ did a double-take. Then he laughed. “At an ATM? Okay...” He leaned across to me and offered a hand. “Darren Passarello.”

I tried to smile and return the handshake. Darren took a deeper look. “Hey, what happened to you? You look like someone beat the crap out of you–“

The fake filled in the details as he saw them. “Someone robbed him at the ATM. Left him pretty much for dead. I took him to the ER and waited with him until they could stitch him up.”

Darren looked back at the fake “They didn’t do such a great job,” he said.

“I know,”said the fake. “That’s why I brought him back here. I thought he’d like some time to mend and, well, you know we’ve got room.”

Darren looked between the two of us, as if sensing that something was escaping him. “Matt, you know you can’t take in everyone with a hard luck story, right?” He looked back to me quickly, throwing up a hand. “No offense, you know? It’s just–this guy here he doesn’t know when to quit.”

“Darren, he was hurt. I couldn’t just leave him there.”

The kid looked back at “Matt”. I only saw his expression when he then turned back to me. “You ever met someone like this before?” What was I looking at on this kid’s face? The hell? This kid adored Matthew Atherton.

Darren turned back to the fake and in a quickly smooth move, snatched its hand and pulled him in to his shoulder for a man-hug. The fake had to bend almost in double to complete it with him. “Dude, you’re a prince.” said Darren into the fake’s shoulder. He stepped back. “So what did you need? When you called me I thought you were alone...”

The fake put his arm across Darren’s shoulders. “Actually old pal, that was it.”

There was the crackle of lightning and I screamed. When the burnt afterimage faded, the fake was holding Darren’s limp body by its hair.

“You didn’t have to do that! Why did you do that!” I was sobbing now and I didn’t care.

“Shut up and tell me something, if you can,” it said. Instead of dropping Darren’s body, it picked him up by the arms and tossed him into the same room with what was left of his real friend. “What did Matt have that I don’t? That kid? Would have done anything for Matt. How does that happen?”

“... I don’t know ...”

“Oh that’s right. You don’t have any friends.”

He took a step toward me, but damn him, before he killed Darren he had already awakened my hope and now I realized that I had an answer he needed to hear. “I was wrong. I do have a friend. I know what friendship is.”

He stopped. “Tell me.”

“Friendship is a decision you make. It’s a commitment.”

“Why? What’s so great about anyone that would cause people to commit to them?”

“I don’t think there’s anything at all great about people,” I said. I could only speak in a rush of words now. “But it’s not about what’s in the person that makes you commit to them. It’s about what’s inside of you.” The evil zombie clone from hell was frozen in thinking-mode again. I plunged on anyway. “If you’re some kind of spin-off from that guy then you came out as a total opposite and you’re not ever going to know what I’m talking about because it wasn’t what he found in other people that made him befriend them–it was what was inside himself all along. Darren talked about it, and when you lied about me, something leftover from the real Matt told you what he’d do. But I’d already seen it for myself.

“He didn’t know me from the average schmuck on a roof and yet he tried to help me. I could have been as evil as you are for all he knew, but you had hurt me and from inside himself he felt he had to get me to safety. I don’t know what the hell that costume was all about or what the hell you really are, but I do know one thing now. I know I had a friend. A true friend. AND YOU KILLED HIM.”


A voice from downstairs. Belonged to a female. I heard the door close behind her. She hadn’t rang the doorbell. She had heard me yelling as she came in the house.

“Up here, honey,” the fake said.

“Matthew Atherton, why were there no funds available in your checking account for the groceries?”

“Sorry about that, dear. I lost track of my spending again. Come upstairs and meet my new friend.”

“You know, a little consideration before you go making a big purchase without telling me...” she said. “First let me put away what meager groceries I could buy and I’ll be right up.”

Oh my god.

The fake looked at me emotionlessly and mouthed “Wife,” silently.

“Don’t please,” I said. “Please.”

“Well, now. What do you care?”


“Tell me something then. Your answer might save her life. Would you be this concerned for her if her husband hadn’t died trying to save you?”


“She didn’t buy much,” the thing said. “She’ll be up here any second.”

“No,” I choked. “Is that what you want to hear? The answer to your question is no.”

“Depends. Explain your answer.”

“People suck. They step on you if you’re in their way. They love you for thirteen years, then sell off your house and take your daughter across the country. I used to think the less of them on the planet, the better.”

“But that changed when?”

“When Feedback died trying to save me.”

“When Feedback did what?” The woman had entered the room just as I’d answered the last question. She was almost as tall as the fake--as tall as the original Feedback had been.


She had heard me when she entered the room and then said “Feedback” without flinching like she already knew who we were talking about. Intimately.

The charade was over and the woman’s life was forfeit. There was no chance that this empty, cold monstrosity would ever fill the gaping hole it had made in her life.
The monster leapt at her.

“K.Cab Deef!” she cried.

The monster stopped in mid flight. Its stiff body fell to the floor. Its arms were still akimbo. It’s hands still in claws.

“Where’s my husband?”

I stammered. I couldn’t seem to take my eyes away from the statue which the monster had become. Its face was still the same–placid, almost casual. “What–“

”Where is he?” the woman said. Her tone commanded me. I looked toward the room containing the bodies.

“I’m so sorry.”

She sprinted into the room and there was silence. Then I heard the rustling of heavy weight being shifted. “Get in here and help me with this.”

I felt made of lead. I didn’t feel like I could move.


The bodies didn’t even register to me when I looked inside the room. It looked like a home office, but it was stacked with boxes, papers, crates, and computer hardware. I had no idea what had happened in here. The woman was trying to position Feedback’s body in a way that she could drag him. “Help me get him out of here. There’s nowhere in his mess that I can lay him flat.”

She looked at me when I didn’t respond. I couldn’t say what I thought she needed to hear.

“Look,” she said, “I know what this looks like, but you just have to do what I tell you, okay? We only have about five more minutes before that thing in the other room comes to, and then we all really will be dead. Do you understand me.”

I nodded and took her husband by his legs. We carried him out and placed him uncomfortably close to the doppleganger. So close that I could see its eyes moving.

“Now,” she said, “Go get Nitro G. He’s smaller than you, you can handle it by yourself.”

“Who is Nitro–“

”The other body in the room!”

She sat back on her heels and pulled a cell phone out of her pocket. I didn’t stop to watch her dial. I went back into the other room and extracted Darren from the wreckage. He wasn’t breathing. As I maneuvered him, I heard Feedback’s wife on the phone.

“... I used the code and now Spectre’s in a Feedback-loop. It’s been about three minutes now. I know I have to hurry! How many times is this bastard going to keep coming to my house, Blackthorn?!”

I dragged Darren out and brought him past her, near the entryway. I just didn’t know why I was doing it.

“Am I on speaker now?” the phone asked aloud with a canned sound.

She had it in her lap. “Yes.”

“Okay, good. Now Sarah, place the phone across his eyes.”

“Feedback's eyes, right?”

”Right. Put it across Feedback’s eyes. Tell me when you’ve done it.”

Sarah crawled over to her husband’s body and placed the phone, open side down, across the eyes. The duplicate watched her as she did it and I cringed, expecting it to grab her any second.

“Okay,” she said loudly to the phone. “It’s on his eyes.”

“Good. Now Sarah, stand back. Get as far away from him as possible. Tell me when you’re clear.”

She got to her feet and backed away, motioning to me at the same time. I raced with her to the doorway. “Okay John, I’m clear!”

“Right,” the phone said. “You might want to cover your ears.”

There was a squeal from the phone of ... well ... feedback. It pierced my already aching head, but I didn’t cover my ears and neither did Sarah. At first nothing was happening, except the both of us squinting against the noise, but then I remembered what Sarah had said. She knew this man–this Feedback. She knew what she was doing.

The scream that Feedback never got to finish on the roof tore out now. His whole body lurched off the carpet. Suddenly, he was on his feet, boots spread, arms out in a martial stance. Lizard-quick, he surveyed the situation. When he saw Darren’s body he practically dove onto it.

“Honey...” Sarah said, “...Spectre’s about to reboot, honey ... ! You have to–“

Feedback tore open Darren’s shirt. Taped to his ribs were two capped hypodermic needles. He started to peel the tape off the boy’s skin, but his gloves seemed too thick to get purchase.

“Matt, there’s no time!”

Feedback’s face grew rigid with determination. He seemed to think this diversion was worth it. I crossed the room before I even understood that I believed him.

Believed in him.

I peeled the tape off for Feedback and took the syringes off the boy. I took the caps off the needles and handed them to him.

“Stand back,” Feedback said.

“No. You stand back.” Negative Feedback ... Spectre ... whatever the hell ... was unfrozen. He was behind Sarah, in the doorway, with his right arm crooked around her throat and his other hand flat against the side of her head. “Darren was right. You really don’t know when to quit.”

I had enough. “You need to pay attention, here!” I said. “You created all this hell because you wanted an answer and here it is! Stop stomping around like a bully in gaddamn schoolyard and learn something for a change!”

Spectre, again, listened to me. It was the delay Feedback needed.

Feedback jabbed the needles into Darren’s chest, injecting the boy with the contents. I didn’t even have time to see how Darren would react. Suddenly there was just this burst of green light and then Darren was gone. And so was Spectre. Then there was this incredible crunch while Sarah staggered forward, free, and the plastered wall to my left crumpled into the outline of a body. Before the flakes of sheetrock could even drift to the ground, there was another crunch on the other side of the room. This time, I could make out Darren's blurred shape at Spectre’s throat as he yanked him up and smashed him across the room again into a third wall.

“Nitro, stop!”

Darren stopped when he had Spectre a few feet into the plaster on the ceiling. The kid looked like he was standing in midair. Spectre was a tangle of broken limbs, hanging out of the ceiling like gutted wiring. Darren held him pinned like that.

“For your information Spectre, I do know when to stop,” I hadn’t noticed when Feedback’s arms had found Sarah, but I saw how tenderly he held her now. “More importantly, I know who my friends are.”

Spectre laughed. Out of any other person, I would have expected a spatter of blood. “Fair enough ... Feedback.” it said. “Game ... off.”

Nitro G’s fists were suddenly closed around emptiness. Spectre’s form drifted backward, up through the ceiling. He was gone.

Feedback wrapped himself around his wife and buried his face in her hair. “I’m so sorry.” His voice broke. “I’d never have let him hurt you...”

“Shhh ...” she said. Her arms fit around him well. She buried her fingers in his hair.

I looked away and found Nitro G. He watched with one eyebrow cocked. “They’re cute, ain’t they?”

“So you’re a superhero too?”

“Yep.” He shook my hand. “You good?”

“Yep.” I looked around. “I think I’m going to be alright after all.”

Feedback invited me to stay for dinner and explained mostly everything I needed to know about his life and powers. I didn’t understand most of what he said, and it seemed as though he didn’t either. He told me about a big crew of professionals dedicated to help him work efficiently whom he had named “Tech Support”, and as in this case, they helped get him out of something too steep for him to handle alone. He said, as an aside, he was going to have to get "Amber" to design some more finger-friendly gloves. He said that the Feedback-field around him gave him the powers of video games, and Spectre was a result of a game he had once played. Whatever. Sarah had apologized for yelling from downstairs in the minutes before she had fallen into Spectre’s trap. She said she thought when Spectre had said ‘meet my new friend’ he had meant another computer game. She said if she knew a real person was upstairs with him, she would have waited much later to turn into a shrew. She had a spectacular laugh. Nitro G was apparently Feedback’s sidekick. The kid adored Matt. Over the mashed potatoes and summer salad it was hard not to see why.

Yeah, the world had changed. There were going to be lunatics in the streets with the powers of small armies. Things were going to be a lot more dangerous now. But I realized while relaxing in the normalcy of Matthew Atherton’s world; things had always been dangerous. There had always been lunatics. What I hadn’t realized before is that there had always been heroes too.

Having survived, I realized that I liked this new world of Matt’s.

And I realized too, that I liked Matt.


Thanks to "Tech Support", Bluezy Bunny, Boarderlinex, and Elizabeth in particular.
Thanks too, to Darren.
And of course, thanks to Matt.
Game ON.


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