by Shai Nir
Drawing his powers from a secret barrel of nucleoactive radios, he is…
Stevie, Boy Wonder!
It’s a brisk December afternoon in Philadelphiaburg and our hero — Stevie, Boy Wonder — is enjoying a classic Philadelphiaburg lunch with his maerchandising manager, as they discuss his upcoming line of toys.
Stevie: If we can’t give them heat vision, can you at least have them do like a Stevie-punch when you press a button?
Merchman: What can I tell you, Stevie? Plushies just don’t work that way.
Stevie: See, why aren’t you making a Stevie action figure? I’m a superhero. My job is to beat people up. With action.
Merchman: I don’t deny that.
Stevie: So I should have an action figure!
Merchman: Look, you tested horribly with the boys 5-12 demographic, and that’s really what we’re aiming at with action figures. On the other hand, girls 10-49 think you’re adorable.
Stevie: So you’re just making plushies.
Merchman: We can call them action plushies if you want.
Stevie: Wait, so what’s this?
Stevie reaches into Merchman’s merchbag and pulls out a plastic action figure. It is his spitting image.
Stevie: This looks kinda badass. I think boys 5-12 would play with this.
Merchman: Of course. That’s an action figure of your robotic double.1 Kids love robots.
Merchman: Look, Stevie, you’re just going to have to accept that women love you and prepubescent boys just don’t care for you all that much.
Stevie silently prays for a way out of the conversation. Suddenly, ninjas! Hundreds of them! They darken the skies of Philadelphiaburg, hopping from rooftop to streetlight to head, a flurry of stars and swords surrounding them, raining destruction and stabby pain to all in their path.
Stevie: Ah, crud.
Stevie charges into the ninja horde, about to deliver a flying Stevie-punch into some face, when he’s restrained by a gang of be-T-shirtted college students. The ninja wave hops unharmed down the street.
Stevie: Guys, no time for autographs, I need to go fight these ninjas!
College Student A: We can’t let you do that, Stevie. We’re the Philadelphiaburg Society for the Conservation of Ninjustu. Stevie, Ninjas are an endangered species.
Stevie: What? There’s hundreds of them!
College Student Nick: Only hundreds of them in the whole city, Stevie. Ninjas are a precious gift from nature. You can’t hurt them.
Stevie: I’m defending the city!
College Student Daria: Not even then. Humans aren’t endangered so ninjas take priority.
Thinking quickly, Stevie pulls out the last and most devious weapon in his arsenal — lying his ass off.
Stevie: Wait! I’m actually the last survivor of an ancient alien race, the Stevinids of, umm… of Stii V. That makes me more endangered than the ninjas are, right? So I can beat them up in self-defense?
College Student A: …Are you really?
College Student A: Yeah, okay, I guess.
Stevie begins to gleefully pursue the ninjas, until College Student Nick taps him on the shoulder.
College Student Nick: Stevie, you are not the last of the Stevinids of Stii V.
Stevie: Yes I am. I totally am.
College Student Nick: Because that girl over there said she thought she was the last of the Stevinids. Stevie, you’re not alone anymore!
Stevie turns to see the girl in question. She stands about 5’4″ with flowing golden hair, and is horrendously ugly. The Stevinid runs forward and embraces Stevie tightly.
Stevinid: I’m so happy I found you, Stevie. Ever since Stii V was destroyed I thought I’d be alone forever, but there are two of us! We can make a brood of Stevilings and teach them the language of Stii!
Stevie awkwardly wriggles out of the hug.
Stevie: I don’t think that’s, uh, the best idea…
The Stevinid looks Stevie dead in the face. He winces a bit.
Stevinid: Don’t you care about our people, Stevie?
Stevie: Well, yeah, but first I have to, um, beat on some ninjas. In self defense.
College Student Brian: Stevie, you can’t put your life at risk before you get a chance to breed a new generation of Stevinids. You are endangered, after all.
Stevie silently prays for a way out of the conversation. Suddenly, ninjas! Hundreds of them! They return, blades flashing, swarming Stevie and his new friend. He manages to knock a good dozen out of the wave, but the Stevinid is not so lucky; even her advanced cellular regeneration is not enough to counter the storm of cuts, stabs, and impacts that by contrived coincidence ends up serving as impromptu plastic surgery, reconfiguing her appearence to something between angelic and droolworthy.
Stevie helps the Stevinid to her feet, blushing.
Stevie: Are you, uh… Are you okay?
Stevinid: I’m still alive. That’s what’s important.
The Stevinid picks a gleaming ninja star out of the ground and examines her reflection in it.
Stevinid: This… is this what the humans consider beautiful?
Stevie: Um, pretty much?
Stevinid: Nice. I guess I can do better than you now.
Stevinid: Sorry, Stevie. You’re cute, but, like, adorable cute.
The Stevinid pecks Stevie on the cheek and walks off to join the college students.