Drawing his powers from a secret barrel of nucleoactive radios, he is…
Stevie, Boy Wonder!
With crime on the rise in Pennsylvaniaburg, Stevie and his superpowered friends must combine their forces to battle greater and greater threats. We join Stevie as he meets with his allies at the offices of Pennsylvaniaburg’s greatest super-team/newspaper of record, the Daily Pencil. Also in attendance are Poetic Justice (Philadelphiaburg’s dark revenger), the Humorist (ineffectual villain turned ineffectual government agent), and Ph’tal (Space cop from the planet Apathy).
Stevie: First of all, we should probably pick a new team name. If we call our hero team the Daily Pencil, people might catch on to our secret identity as a mild-mannered newspaper.
Humorist: We could do something classy, like “Pennsylvaniaburg Mask Society.”
Justice: You do know what that spells, right?
Humorist: It spells trouble for crime in this city, that’s what.
Justice: Better idea: Pennsylvaniaburg Society of Hyperpowered Heroes and Heroines.
Ph’tal: That’s great but we don’t have any girls.
Justice: Not for long.
Humorist: Oh, mazel tov! When’s the operation?
Justice glares at the Humorist.
Justice: I mean we’ll have a new member soon. Actually, I’ve invited her to the
Suddently, there’s a knock at the door.
Justice: It’s open.
A young woman walks in whose brown costume is reminiscent of a certain parcel service’s uniform.
Justice: This is Quick. Quick, this is Stevie, Ph’tal, and the Humorist.
Stevie: Let me guess… super-speed?
Quick: Yeah! I deliver priority pain on an express route to your face.
Humorist: I don’t know. The quip was decent but your delivery needs work.
In a blur, Quick ceases standing idly next to Justice and is action-posing as if she’s about to kick the Humorist’s head in.
Quick: What can brown do to you?
Humorist: All right, that’s passable.
Stevie: Where’d you meet her?
Justice: So, I was near the docks, tracking down a major arms exchange between the Triad and the Phillies. I was waiting for them to slip up when all of a sudden I see this blur running all around them.
Quick: It was my first bust and I wasn’t really sure what to do. I was running around trying not to get shot at and hitting random guys when I felt this horrible pain in the back of my head.
Justice: It was Ryan Howard. He got her with an aluminum bat. Obviously I couldn’t let that stand so I dropped in and broke his legs.
Quick: Between the two of us we beat the rest of them pretty easily.
Justice: Then while we were taking the arms to the hospital, where they can be attached to people who need them, we got to talking, and long story short, I invited Quick to be my sidekick.
Stevie: Oh, wow. Congrats!
Ph’tal: Yeah, congratulations.
Stevie: You should’ve said so before the meeting. We would’ve gotten you a cake.
Humorist: Wait, you get a cake for having a sidekick? Since when?
Stevie: I ‘unno, since always.
Justice: Humorist, do not go get a sidekick just so you can have cake.
Humorist: Get one? Pshhh, I have like eight already.
Justice: Stuffed animals don’t count.
Humorist: Fine, just five. I got my deputizing license last month and I’ve been using it left and right.
Stevie: Then why didn’t you bring them here?
The Humorist stands up on his chair and loudly exclaims:
Humorist: Humoroids, assemble!
A powerful gale blows the windows open and in flies a caped superlass in wind-themed getup.
Humorist: This is Weather. When I met she’d called up a small hurricane to blow a cat out of a tree.
Stevie: Only a small one, huh? Well, we can still use you.
A pool of shadow coalesces on the floor, and from it rises a casually-dressed guy of average height. His head is shrouded in a ball of smoke from which a thousand million flailing tendrils of darkness reach out. He seems a little insecure, but other than that, a decent fellow.
Justice: And you are…
Sorry: I’m sorry! I’m Sorry.
Humorist: Sorrdacon the Devastator, Annihilator of Minds, Lord of the Five Desolate Galaxies. I like to call him “Sorry” because that’s all he says.
Sorry: Sorry about that.
A beam of light shines in through the open window, and at the foot of that beam materializes a young woman with white, glittering wings.
Ether: You can call me Ether.
Humorist: Etheriel. She was sent down by God to bring wrathful judgment unto humanity, but mostly she’s cool.
Ph’tal: What about non-humanity?
Ether: That is not my job.
Ph’tal: I like you already.
While no one is looking, a slip of a girl, wearing a classy raincoat and a beret, sidles out from the shadows.
Oui: Je m’appelle Oui.
Humorist: Her name’s Oui. Her power is that she, I dunno, speaks French or something.
Oui: Je suis une ninja!
Steve: Cheese-eating surrender ninja?
Oui: En fait, je suis intolérante au lactose.
Ether: Sorry, we don’t really understand you.
Sorry: That’s okay. No one does.
Ether: No, not you. I meant her.
Oui: Je me comprends bien.
Weather: I’m sorry, what’s going on?
Sorry: No, I’m Sorry.
Justice: Who’s on first?
Humorist: Not Ryan Howard!
Weather: Oh, god, I’m so confused.
Ether: God says “Sorry.”
A guy in plain super-getup walks in through the front door.
Victor: Hey, sorry I’m late.
Ph’tal: Great, another one.
Humorist: Oh, that’s Victor. He manipulates vectors.
Steve: Surely that must get confusing.
Victor: Not really. So, um, who is everybody?
Humorist: Oh, right, I haven’t introduced you to the rest.
Sorry: Quick, what’s everyone’s names?
Quick: Don’t ask me, I just met you all.
Sorry: I’m sorry.
Oui: Je suis Oui.
Weather: Um, I’m Weather?
Quick: I’m Quick. Nice to meet you.
Ether: I’m Ether.
Victor: Either what or what?
Ether: I said my name is Ether.
Victor: Either your name is either something or something else or it’s not either something or something else.
Ether: I’m just Ether!
Sorry: Oh, and I’m Sorry.
Quick: Didn’t you already say you’re Sorry?
Sorry: I said I’m sorry, not that I’m Sorry. Sorry.
Ether: Sorry, we don’t know whether you mean you’re sorry or you’re Sorry.
Oui: Je la connais. Météo est mon amie.
Stevie: Can we just agree to not confuse anyone’s name with similar-sounding words?
Oui: Desolée, je fais de mon mieux!
Stevie sighs again. A few very awkward seconds of silence pass.
Victor: So, can we join your crime-fighting team?
Oui Oui, et les autres?
The senior PSHHH members exchange glances.
Stevie, Justice, Humorist, and Ph’tal all huddle in the corner of the room. Ph’tal uses his Cosmic Bell of Silence to ensure nobody outside the huddle can hear them.
Humorist: Wow, sidekicks are a mess.
Ph’tal: Is this how every meeting is going to go?
Justice: No, because we’re not letting all those people on the team. They can’t even keep their own names straight.
Humorist: You know what, I agree.
Stevie: I kind of feel bad turning them down, though.
Ph’tal: And where are they going to go?
The four glance back at the sidekicks, who are all watching intently.
Justice: Oh, god, they look like six lost puppies.
Stevie: What if we form a PSHHH Jr. for all the sidekicks?
Justice: No good. We’ll have to deal with them either way.
Ph’tal: Yeah, they’ll still end up slowing us down.
Stevie: We can’t just tell them to stop heroing.
Humorist: I guess there’s no choice. Guys, I’ve got this one.
Humorist: Yeah, I’m on it.
Stevie and friends exit the huddle. The Humorist steps forward smiling.
Humorist: Welcome to PSHHH!
Ether: You won’t call us ‘Humoroids’ anymore?
Humorist: Yep! And you get to go on patrol duty, plus this office isn’t a shabby hangout spot. I mean, it’s no Catastrodome, but we have like a little company gym and a coffee machine. It’s nice.
Quick: What’s a Catastrodome?
Humorist: That was what we called our hideout back when I was a member of the Order of Wicked, Ill-meaning Evildoers. Now THAT was a hideout! Private bedrooms for everyone, private theater system, all the m&ms we could eat, indoor beach, an XBox… Crime pays, y’know?
Sorry: Ooh, XBox.
Oui: Et bonbons…
Weather: What happened to all that?
Humorist: Oh, it’s still there. Though with a lot of OWIE either quitting or locked up, there’s probably a lot of empty room there. I bet the masseuse isn’t too busy nowadays…
Quick: Masseuse, hm?
The six newbies huddle in a corner. They spend a decent while talking to each other, occasionally glancing at PSHHH. They break huddle after a bit.
Ether: On second thought, maybe being heroes isn’t really for us.
Victor: Yeah, we’re all going to be ordinary civilians and, uh, not do anything else.
Quick, Weather, Sorry, Ether, Oui, and Victor all nonchalantly stroll out of the room. The Humorist waves to them from the door.
Humorist: Tell Dreadmaker I said hi!
The Humorist shuts the door.
Stevie: That works.
Justice: Except now we have six new villains to worry about.
Stevie: Pshhh, they’re chumps. We can take ’em.
Ph’tal: Also we don’t have any heroines again.
The Humorist pulls out a stuffed rabbit with antlers.
Humorist: How about Jokealope joins our team? We can be the Penn Society of Hyperpowered Heroes and Hares.