Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cosmics: Unicorn and Blindsight

Samantha - Sam to all who knew her - stepped into the room that was to be her workplace for the foreseeable future and slowly turned her head from side to side. She couldn't see anything because she'd been blind since birth but her enhanced cosmic senses more than compensated.

She could hear the deep throb of the air-conditioning fans, the higher-pitched whine of the computer fans and the whir of the hard discs in the server. She could smell the chemical cleaner used to mop the floor, the traces of aftershave of the workers who had set up the equipment and the fresh leather of a new reclining chair. She could also feel the vibrations of people moving nearby and the slight draught from the air-con.

She was blind but her other heightened senses gave her clues and hints which she could use to build a reasonable picture of her surroundings. However, these were secondary compared with her cosmic ability to 'sense' mass.

Every object with a mass had its own gravitational pull and Sam was somehow able sense this. The Professor once said she could detect "distortions in the gravitational space-time matrix" or something like that. Actually, she had probably described it in a much more lengthy and convoluted manner but what it came down to was that she could "see" the general shapes of objects. She couldn't see their colour nor their texture and the shape and size was not exact but it was enough for her to know where things were.

She moved into the room, gently tapping her slim staff in front of her. Of course, she didn't really need the staff anymore. She'd acquired it when the special glasses the Professor had built for her had begun to fail. The loss of her electronic sight had left her blind again but that had the surprising side effect of allowing her enhanced senses to emerge. Now, she could almost see like normal, at least normal for her. She could navigate without the staff but she kept it, if only to use it to protect herself. Just like the Twilight Man had taught her.

The Twilight Man had taught her many things as well as how to fight with the staff. She'd been good with computers even before she'd met him but he'd enhanced her skills significantly as well as adding to her detection and deduction abilities. She had learned a lot since joining the Cosmic Knights. So, she hoped, had Mark.

Putting down her staff, Sam sat in the comfortable leather chair at the computer desk. Unusually there were no screens in the room - she had no need of them. Instead, above the keyboard there was a Braille reader that would show her what she typed. Also there were some speakers and specialised software that would read out what would've appeared on the screen. A microphone allowed her to input voice commands.

However she didn't need most of this. An interesting by-product of the bio-electronic interface to the Professor's special glasses was the ability to connect to nearby computers over a Wi-Fi connection. Her wireless neuro-connector only allowed her to read information from enabled computers but this meant she could 'see' the information that would've appeared on a screen.

Leaning down, Sam switched on the PC terminal. In this small room she had her own server and the PC in front of her was connected to this. The server in turn was connected to the Knight's mainframe and to a huge database of information and utilities. This in turn was connected to the various local authority facilities and, of course, to the worldwide Internet.

Once the machine had booted, Sam 'connected' to the terminal and decided to do a little web surfing. She wanted to get herself familiar with the local network and then perhaps have a look at what new cosmic related news there was on the 'net. But she knew she couldn't spend too long surfing - she had a dinner date to get ready for.

Meanwhile...

The muggers in the parking lot didn't know what hit them.

They'd been accosting a young woman who had just opened the door of her car when a flash of twinkling lights appeared next to them. The lights said, "Boo!" and then punched one of them, knocking him to the ground.

Reacting quickly, the other dark-clothed attacker pointed his gun at the shining man, who just said, "Didn't your parents ever tell you it's rude to point" and promptly disappeared.

Before the man could turn, his feet were knocked out from underneath him. He fell to the ground and his gun dropped from his hands. A swift punch from the glittering man made sure the mugger stayed down.

Her rescuer looked at the two fallen men and tsked. "Only one wisecrack", he muttered before turning towards the woman. He gave her a warm smile and said,

"Hi. I hope you're okay? Yeah? Well, could you please call the police because I have to go. Dinner date, y'know. Thanks!"

And with a *pop* he was gone leaving behind a swirl of twinkling stars.

The woman blinked. It was all over in a matter of seconds. One moment two men were pointing guns at her and the next they were on the floor unconscious. What had happened? Was her shining knight that Unicorn guy, the new recruit to the Cosmic Knights? Where had he gone?

Cosmics! She shook her head in disbelief. Reaching a quivering hand into her purse, she pulled out her cell phone and dialled 911, whilst the tantalisingly brief vision of her ruggedly handsome rescuer in his skin-tight costume played upon her mind.

1 comment:

Nimbus said...

Unicorn (Mark Morris) was my first ever superhero character in a PBeM game. He was a cross between Spider-man and Nightcrawler who's powers - teleportation, superagility and forehead blast - were based on an android character I'd created when I was about 12. He was also one of my longest lasting PBeM characters; I think he continued in various guises for 10+ years.

Of course, over the years, his character changed. He started as a cocky 14 or 15 year old but grew older over time becoming an altruistic 20 year old by the end. Originally a mutant, then a nova (he was a character in the Aberrant system for most of his life), it finally turned out that he was a mystically-based half demon (long story).

Blindsight (Samantha Clark) was actually someone else's creation, but at the school for novas, she and Unicorn started a relationship. I kept the character on as an NPC for Unicorn and eventually the two married.

Both characters were written up in Aberrant system and then as Silver Age Sentinels characters.