Tuesday, November 20, 2007


A letter to:
Captain Star-Spangled, 42 Much Drive, the ash heap of history

Dear Capt.;

Writing to you is futile, in more ways than one. But that hops, as the cool cats say, because I’ve been thinking of changing my nom de guerre to “PFC Futile”.

Where to begin? “They told me that you’d been to her, and mentioned me to him.” Viper is still Viper. It’s nice that some things never change, because the attack on the base was definitively not Golden Age. More like Brass Age.

The Freedom Bunch is sloppy, very sloppy. They’re sloppy in their dress, and they’re sloppy in their execution. To them a “plan” is something to discuss in your fancy penthouse, not something you implement on the field of battle. Rather than concentrating their fire, they just spray it around like water out of a hose. They keep their more homicidal members out of the planning sessions so as not to alarm their allies, and then they have a flying medic on retainer to patch up the victims of their excesses.

Blast. Listen to me go on. I’m probably the last guy in the world who should carp about homicidal heroes. And to you, yet. What was I thinking?

I wonder if the Freedom Bunch know a flying stone-carver?

The real problem with the assault was me. I’m just glad Fen Lo wasn’t there; I’d never hear the end of it. I probably won’t, anyway. Hiding things from him is not only futile, it’s counterproductive. Elbow in. Elbow in! ELBOW IN! I must, must learn to focus. Also to pick up my feet: I got flattened by a tossed agent when I thoughtlessly placed myself downrange of my allies’ fire zone.

Due to failures in my technique I missed almost half the time, and when I did hit I didn’t always take the target down. Now that latter would be understandable against some villainous behemoth, but Viper agents are supposed to go down if you look at them cross-eyed, aren’t they? Oh, wait, that’s if YOU look at them cross-eyed. I keep forgetting. I’m probably too busy turning green watching the supes flit around through the air. Maybe I should practice flying. Based on my batting average, I’m clearly flapping my arms enough.

The gadgets: I don’t always use them at the right time, or on the right target: the gas bombs are NOT for regular villains. Once I tried to get fancy with a two-fisted gadget attack, and got nothing. Another time I muffed my throw and slopped a flash bomb right onto one of my affectionate allies; haven’t I learned my lesson about being sure of my target?

To be fair, I did owe Trauma one. During the assault on the penultimate floor of the base, he got it into his head that I needed a hug, and much slapstick ensued. This is not to blame him: I think he got mesmerized by the villain called Mindwipe. I spent most of that phase of the battle dodging his embrace. I tried to out-run him, but he was a lot faster than I expected. He’s also got a grip like an atomic vise. You would have shrugged it off, but I had visions of Valhalla.

In the end, the job got done. That’s what it all means, daddy-o. So tomorrow it’s kata. Tomorrow it’s lay out the utility belt and repack it in the dark. Tomorrow we try to get to Carnegie Hall. Tonight it’s some Ben-Gay for my bruised ribs, and a little of that Sleep of the Just. If we’ve learned one thing, it’s that there’s always a tomorrow.

Stay out of trouble, and hope I do the same,
Sgt. Eagle

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