Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "TMIwork"

This poem was inspired by a conversation with [personal profile] dialecticdreamer about how tiresome it is when the supposed good guys fight in front of the bad guys, and how differently that would go in Terramagne. It also fills the "marriage" square in my 1-4-16 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo fest. It has been sponsored by LJ user Ng_moonmoth. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Warning: Graphic marital conflict is the whole point of the poem.


Gunmetal and Fidget were in
the midst of a marital argument
when they got called to a robbery
at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

"Duty calls," said Gunmetal, already
reaching for his gray-and-white jumpsuit.
"We'll have to finish this later."

"Damn straight we will,"
Fidget said, yanking on
her red-and-gray uniform.

They arrived to find Debit and
Rapacity stuffing priceless artifacts
into a pair of pillowcases.

"We need to get those guns
away from them first," said Gunmetal.
"They can't focus their Heat Powers
well enough to blast anything
without their bolt pistols."

"That won't stop Rapacity,"
said Fidget. "You know how
he loves to wreck things."

"Well, it's a place to start --"
Gunmetal began.

"Oh, now we're starting,"
Fidget snapped.

"Excuse me? Were we
interrupting something?"
Rapacity said, lifting
the bag in his hand.

"Stop right there!" Gunmetal said.
He transformed both of his hands into
Sleep Pistols and fired at the supervillains,
even as Fidget whipped her swing lines
at them, trying to snag their guns.

Debit and Rapacity sprang apart,
avoiding the attacks. "Just try
and make us," Rapacity taunted.

"Take that!" Debit said as he threw
a flash-bang at the superheroes,
but they both dodged it.

Gunmetal shifted his left hand
to a freeze gun and slicked the floor.

"Cheater!" said Debit as he
crashed into a wall. His bag
of loot slid the other way.

"I'm no cheater," Gunmetal said.

"You were SO cheating with that bitch!"
Fidget screamed at him.

"Hey, guys, TMI!" said Rapacity.

"You stay out of this," Fidget said,
snaring him with her swing line
and dragging him across the floor.

Rapacity kicked over a display table,
and carved jewels flew everywhere,
their facets glinting in the light.

"You look like you're having
a little too much fun there,"
Gunmetal said, struggling
to pin Debit long enough
to tie up the supervillain.

"Well it's my turn!" said Fidget.
Rapacity wriggled loose and
made a grab for his bag.

Debit had also escaped,
and was hastily pushing
buttons on his vidwatch.

"That's all you ever talk about,"
Gunmetal said. "Shut up
and focus on the job!"

"Oh, you'd like that, wouldn't you?"
Fidget said. "Anything to change the topic!"

Rapacity aimed his Heat Pistol
at the nearest mural on the wall.

"No you don't, you little prick,"
Fidget said as she knocked
the gun from his hand.

"Now who's cheating?" said Gunmetal.

"TIME! OUT!" Debit barked, waving his arms
as if pausing a game. "Okay, look, I get that
you're pissed, but you're having a very private fight
in a very public place. I really do not want to hear it;
I ain't that fuckin' hungry. So you two go get
some therapy or something, and we are
out of here. Tumblefuck, teleport!"

A scruffy man with knee and elbow pads
over his grubby clothes appeared and
snatched the two supervillains away.

Gunmetal and Fidget looked around
at the rumpled museum. Rapacity had
gotten away with his bag, but Debit's lay
on the floor, spilling artifacts everywhere.

"Well, that's one way to interrupt
a robbery," said the first cop to arrive,
"but it's pretty embarrassing."

* * *


Fidget: She has fair skin that sunburns easily, brown eyes, and long straight brown hair. Her husband is Gunmetal. They live in Motor City. She is willing to try new things and take part in activities, even if she's not confident of doing it well or personally excited about the topic. She loves competitive two-person sports such as tennis, ping-pong, fencing, darts, and billiards.
Origin: She met Gunmetal in college and they fell in love. He started giving her little things that he made ... and then gizmos, and then super-gizmos. Before long, she had enough to become a supernary hera. It was a novel way of revealing his secret identity to her, too: one piece at a time.
Uniform: Dexflan climbing outfit in black, charcoal, and light red, with a matching full-body harness made of krevel to carry her gear. Charcoal gloves and mask. Krevel sport shoes in charcoal and light red.
Qualities: Master (+6) Tactics, Expert (+4) Intrapersonal Intelligence, Expert (+4) Swashbuckler, Good (+2) Agility, Good (+2) Desenrascano, Good (+2) Massage Therapist, Good (+2) Participation, Good (+2) Tidy, Good (+2) Two-Person Sports
Poor (-2) Marital Problems
Powers: Good (+2) Utility Harness
Her utility harness includes a belt full of super-gizmos, swinglines on her wrists, and a winch on her chest.
Motivation: To protect Motor City.

Gunmetal -- He has fair skin that tans easily, gray eyes, and metallic steel-gray hair cut short. His wife is Fidget. They live in Motor City. He works in science at Wayne State University, where he is the darling of the Engineering and Applied Physics departments, although Biology dislikes him. He is generous with his time and materials, and he doesn't mind sharing someone else's either. He enjoys competitive two-person sports such as tennis, darts, billiards, golf, and bowling.
Origin: His Super-Gizmology grew in gradually. Then a lab accident fused him with one of his inventions, a shapeshifting gun. He was unable to control his new ability to manifest Gun Arms until his wife taught him how.
Uniform: Gray and white jumpsuit with matching gray-and-white helmet, gloves, and boots. He carries his super-gizmos in pockets.
Qualities: Master (+6) Logical-Mathematical Intelligence, Expert (+4) Tough, Expert (+4) Strategy, Good (+2) Ambidexterity, Good (+2) Ambition, Good (+2) Faction Favorite, Good (+2) Scientist, Good (+2) Sharing, Good (+2) Two-Person Sports
Poor (-2) Marital Problems
Powers: Average (0) Gun Arms, Average (0) Super-Gizmology
He can turn his arms into guns, currently with the options of conventional firearm or bolt pistols for freeze, heat, lightning, sleep, force, and sound. For a little while, he can switch back and forth fluently. But the more he uses them, the harder it gets to change, either between different guns or back to hands. The first seven times he fires, it is only an Average task to switch. After the ninth time, it goes up to Good, after the eleventh to Expert, and after the thirteenth to Master. If he fires a fifteenth time, then he can't change at all for at least an hour, and he needs his wife's help to do it.
Limitation: With one hand changed to a gun, he has Poor (-2) Dexterity. With both hands as guns, he has no manual dexterity until he turns back.
Motivation: To protect Motor City.

Debit (Ian Eldredge) -- He has fair skin, brown eyes, and long straight red hair. His younger brother Rapacity (Ken Eldredge) usually follows his lead. Because their parents fight all the time, Debit has little patience with drama. He is a terrific thief and a capable fighter, watchful enough to get away with most of it.
Origin: Growing up in a rough part of Motor City, Debit and his younger brother Rapacity got involved in gangs. They were captured by a rival and thrown into a foundry to die. But they didn't die; they emerged with Heat Powers.
Uniform: Black dexflan jumpsuit, mask, and gloves. Black krevel utility belt and boots.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Thief, Good (+2) Fighter, Good (+2) Leader, Good (+2) Observant
Poor (-2) Tolerance for Drama
Powers: Average (0) Heat Powers
Limitation: Requires bolt pistol to focus Heat Blast.
Motivation: Money.

Rapacity (Ken Eldredge) -- He has fair skin, brown eyes, and short brown hair. His older brother Debit (Ian Eldredge) is the leader of the pair. Rapacity really enjoys breaking things, but is a capable thief under Debit's guidance. Faster than his brother, Rapacity is also shorter and that causes challenges.
Origin: Growing up in a rough part of Motor City, Rapacity and his older brother Debit got involved in gangs. They were captured by a rival and thrown into a foundry to die. But they didn't die; they emerged with Heat Powers.
Uniform: Black dexflan jumpsuit, mask, and gloves. Black krevel utility belt and boots.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Destructive, Good (+2) Fast, Good (+2) Follower, Good (+2) Thief
Poor (-2) Short Guy Problems
Powers: Average (0) Heat Powers
Limitation: Requires bolt pistol to focus Heat Blast.
Motivation: Mayhem.

Tumblefuck (Logan Brazington) -- He has pale skin, hazel eyes, and shaggy brown hair to his shoulders. He is tall and wiry. He lives in Gloucester, England but as a teleporter he travels around the world.
Tumblefuck is strictly neutral, happy to work for white or black capes as long as they don't try to drag him into their silly political disputes. He often works with other neutral parties such as medics and reporters. He is one of Ethan Wheeler's favorite teleporters, because Ethan is also strictly neutral and doesn't mind a rough ride.
Origin: Whilst pursuing a wheel of Double Gloucester cheese down the steep slope of Cooper's Hill, he fell and developed teleporting. He caught the cheese. He also broke both ankles and sprained his right wrist.
Uniform: Typically jeans and a t-shirt, often shabby. It's not that he doesn't have any money. It's that he's hell on his clothes, and knows it, so he doesn't waste nice ones. On duty, Tumblefuck often wears protective gear in the form of helmet, elbow pads, wrist braces, knee pads, and ankle boots.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Athletic, Good (+2) Chipper Bloke, Good (+2) Drinking Buddies, Good (+2) Knowledge of Geography
Poor (-2) Risk Assessment
Powers: Average (0) Teleporting
Limitation: Tumblefuck can carry two passengers or an equivalent amount of cargo for a respectable distance, but he can't tap off all the forward momentum. So he always crash-lands, and he's learned to cope with that by rolling. He does best carrying passengers who can also roll with it or hauling sturdy cargo.
Motivation: Thrill-seeking.

* * *

TMI (Too Much Information) is a type of oversharing. It has pros and cons. There are tips to stop oversharing.

Marriage problems often include cheating. Sometimes counseling can help, and there are ways to survive a difficult marriage.

Couples argue for various reasons. Disagreement is natural in any relationship, but should not devolve into hostility. Understand how to stop fighting and how to fight fair.

Read about the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Arguing in front of others is bad enough for ordinary people, but arguing in front of the enemy is inexcusable for superheroes. It usually happens because people want an audience for their rude lines, which they consider funny, but bystanders consider embarrassing at best and alarming at worst. Some people handle this with shaming, but there are more constructive ways to discourage people from fighting in public. And that's why Terramagne typically doesn't have things like Civil War: it's not that they don't fight, it's that someone usually intervenes when the fighting goes out of bounds.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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