If you guys remember, I wrote this piece like a year and half ago because a friend had his first encounter with a fax machine. I revisited it for a class and got some really good response, but the prof suggested that I try it from the "other side". So now InvinciBob is tired with his life as a superhero and daydreams about being a normal guy. Hopefully the transitions are okay because this is what I turned in for my final. I think it should be fine, my prof just looks for the effort that you put into changing it. Enjoy!
The Adventures Of InvinciBob
“Duck!” he cried as he slashed Jun, his trusty sword through the air. The young man that was clenched in the fowl’s feathered fist cover his head and curled up in a ball. Invincibob stabbed the zombie duck in the chest.
“Quuuaaaakkkk,” it let out as it fell to the ground.
Sometimes he wished that he could be normal. Saving lives everyday was as boring to him as paper work was to a cop. InvinciBob slumped down in the Leaky Diner booth and sipped his coffee. His purple tights were riding up his butt again. He really needed Susan to fix Wedgy Stopper stitch. It had been coming undone for the last month, but she kept on that she had to take care of their super sonic mouse problem. Boy, it had been a long night of running to corners to pick at the tights where no one could see. A superhero wasn’t supposed to have to deal with these kinds of things.
InvinciBob ran his fingers through his wavy black hair. He really needed to retire. He was getting too old to be fighting man eating zombie ducks. He had to find out who was making these guys. There had been a spike in mutated animals within the last year, but he couldn’t figure out who was doing it or what they wanted. He supposed that he should solve the mystery before he laid his tights to rest. Rubbing his eyes, he paid for his coffee and headed home.
“Good morning Bob,” said Marie From Cubicle One. “Susan wants you to start taking the stairs again?”
“Morning Marie. She said that she’s going to stop buying me new pants every time I gain an inch or two at the waist.” He gave her a grim look while patting his belly. He continued down the rows of cubicles. He took a right at the fifth box back and then a left at the third, finally getting to his desk at cubicle six, row nine.
“Morning Jim,” he said.
“Morning Bob. I heard you in the parking lot while I was getting my coffee. Still haven’t gotten those breaks replaced I hear.”
“Well, it’s the holiday season. I have to think of the kids,” he replied in a dull tone. After working for The Vanishing Pest Corp. for fifteen years, he found himself unable to brag about his amazing career benefits, or lack there of. Jim passed him a page from his newspaper over the short partition.
“Read the one with the Indian Jones look-alike and the fax machine. That’ll cheer you up. What a Putz,” his neighbor said with a chuckle.
Bob took the newspaper and looked at the black and white rows of Funnies. A little man with large teeth brandishing a whip and computer paper was giving a menacing stare at the fax. His buzzed cut hair and backpack made him look like a student who had accidentally stepped halfway into a time warp. In addition to the whip and backpack, the cartoon was wearing a Safari hat hanging off the back of his neck and ropes slung around his shoulders. This guy was a regular Indiana Jones meets college kid look alike! Bob blinked at the newspaper.
College Indy took creeping steps to the fax machine and gingerly pressed the power button. Balloons of sound erupted from the machine, causing the adventure hero to jump back and hold up his whip. With the caution of a nervous cat, College Indy approached the fax machine again and sent his message. After a long silence of empty balloons, College Indy began to walk backwards out of the small copy room, not taking his eyes off of the machine. A loud noise popped up and the man ran back. A message appeared in the small tray. He quickly checked for booby traps with a swiping motion of his hand and snatched the paper. His mission was complete. College Indy cracked a small smile at the plastic box and scooted out the door.
“It’s a hoot isn’t it?” Jim asked as he slapped the palm of his hand down on the top of the partition. “Imagine, some weirdo in a cowboy getup being scared of a fax machine. Hah!”
“Heh, yeah,” Bob pretended to agree. Tucking the newspaper carefully into his garbage can, he made sure that it didn’t touch anything wet. He planned on studying it more when Jim wasn’t watching. College Indy could prove to be the career break that he had been looking for.
Sitting down at his squeaky swivel chair, he pulled out the first case stacked in the IN box. The manila folder made a wobbly noise as he flipped through it. The inspector who had filled out the detailed chart had horrible handwriting that was about the size of a termite. Bob squinted at the tiny boxes. He felt like he was trying to decipher the secret code. He was getting too old for this. Teenaged boys never wrote big enough for his eyes to see and the girls had so many loops and bubbles that their charts looked more like art projects than pest control records. He shook his head and flipped through the pages.
Apparently this inspector had captured a disoriented porcupine in a woman’s front yard. It had been taken down from a tree where it had been munching on leaves and bark. The woman had claimed to see the rodent from outside of her kitchen window and thought it was an overgrown rat. Bob let out a soft snort. Really, a rat? What kind of rat hung out six feet in the air stripping bark and eating twigs? People these days. He turned to the picture that was paper clipped to the back cover. The animal almost looked cute, with its spines erect and rear sticking up in the air.
He glanced at the garbage can. Rolling to his cubicle entrance, he poked his head out. No one was coming. He plucked the newspaper out of the trash with College Indy speed before anyone had the chance to pop in on him. Opening the paper, careful not to make any rumpling noises, Bob smoothed the chronicle on his desk and read the comic strip over again. He hugged his arms around the paper to prevent anyone from seeing what he was reading, a method he had picked up from his seven-year-old.
With slow, precise movements, Bob slid his desk drawer open and took out a pair of scissors. He cut College Indy out the paper and placed him safely into the bottom of his desk drawer. Returning the newspaper to the trash bin, he turned and faced his computer. Okay College Indy, what would you have done if a porcupine showed up in your front yard?
“ An African Brush-tailed Porcupine was found on April 30, 2006 in the front yard of Mrs. Apranza Frisco…”
Boom. Scrape. Boom. Scrape. Boom. The windows of Mrs. Frisco’s house were rattling. He tightened his grip on his pen and clipboard. Instinctively his pen hand touched his sword.
“InvinciBob, you have to save my house from that evil porcupine!” Mrs. Frisco squealed, her hands at her cheeks and eyes wide with fear.
“Don’t worry ma’am,” he said, holding out his hand to stop her jabbering, “I have everything under control,” he continued in his deepened tough guy voice. He gave her a nod to reassure her and set the clipboard on the kitchen table. InvinciBob strutted out the front door and placed his hands on his hips.
“Okay, you evil Porcupine, we can do this the hard way if you like, or you can get into the cage over there in the InvinciVan,” he told the snarling beast with a small gesture towards the vehicle.
Boom. Scrape. Boom. Scrape. Boom. The porcupine got closer to him.
“I will never surrender to the likes of you InvinciBob!” With that he jumped and spun with a booming crash as he landed. His quills rose as he prepared to shoot.
“You’re not scaring me Porcupine. I know very well that porcupines can’t shoot their quills. I paid attention in zoology you know. They don’t call me InvinciBob for nothing,” he said with a smug grin. He crossed his arms over his chest and waited for the porcupine’s next move. The animal slowly turned around to glare at him. His clawed feet tore up the grass in the pivoting motion.
“My lawn!” squealed Mrs. Frisco.
“That’s what you think, InvinciBob. Dr. Gizmo upgraded me with ejecting quills and steel tipped claws,” he said with a garish laugh, lifting one sparkling paw off the ground and patting his back. “One of these babies into your stomach and you’ll never get it out. Dr. Gizmo enhanced the barbs with flesh eating bacteria that feasts on my victim’s body after I impale them. The hole will be so big that you could fit a log through it.”
“A fixed up porcupine,” InvinciBob said, more to himself than to the porcupine. “Who is this Dr. Gizmo?” InviciBob demanded.
“You’re worst nightmare.”
The porcupine jumped around again and began to shoot deadly quills at InviciBob. Doof, doof, doof. The quills came shooting out at him.
“Noooooooo!” he yelled, slashing though the massive quills with Jun. He blocked the mutilated spines from puncturing his skin with his shield and ran at the porcupine. He jumped and cut the tips of the spines off his back. Sttttssss. Steam left the quills as they deflated on the mutated porcupine’s back.
“Noooooooo!” the porcupine mimicked InvinciBob’s yell. The porcupine spun around and flung his claws down at InviciBob. ‘Sheungk, sheungk, sheungk. The pan sized paws bombarded his shield with weight and ferocity. InvinciBob swung Jun at him with all his might. Jun connected with the porcupine’s nostril.
“Yoooooowwww!” the porcupine roared in pain. InvinciBob took advantage of the animal’s agony and lassoed a chain around his body. Pressing a button on his belt, the chain retracted and pulled the miserable porcupine into the van’s cage.
“Take that you engorged rodent! I am InvinciBob! No one can defeat me!” he said with triumph. Sheathing Jun back at his hip he started for the front door. Mrs. Frisco ran to meet him.
“Oh InvinciBob! You’re my hero!”
“All in a day’s work, ma’am,” he told her with a toothy smile. He took up his clipboard and wrote in perfectly legible handwriting “Pest secured by InviciBob”.
Once the rate of demon animal appearances had increased, the bureau had begun to require super heroes to record their missions. It was work that most heroes detested, but he loved it. The paperwork made him feel a little closer to the normal world. Hopping into the Invincivan he drove towards the correctional facility where morphed animals were being tested.
“Hi, Dan,” he said. “I’ve got a live one.” He pointed to the back of the Invincivan.
“Go ahead and bring it to lab two, InvinciBob”
While the lab technicians froze the giant porcupine, InvinciBob took the opportunity to scout out headquarters. He wanted to tell them about this Dr. Gizmo fellow. It was valuable information that needed to be addressed right away.
“It’s urgent,” he told the guard.
“Sir, you need to make an appointment.”
“I’m a super hero.”
“You need to make an appointment, Sir.”
“This is important.”
“An appointment, Sir.”
“Fine! Make me an appointment.”
“You’ll have to go down to the front reception desk and schedule an appointment with the secretary there.”
“What? But that’s all the way on the other side of the facility.”
“There is no need to raise your voice, Sir. That is where you make the appointments.”
“This is ridiculous.”
“Sorry for the inconvenience.”