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[Fiction] Amped - The Trials and Tribulations of a Teenaged Tryst


Singularity

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Everything is falling apart.

Chance had brought Dervish to Atlanta and she even had some free time, once her Teen Tomorrow responsibilities were satisfied, so when she had called Amped his pulse already lightning pulse jumped up another fifty beats per minute. Even better, there was a new Bollywood movie coming out, complete with collaboration with the semi-retired Spielberg, so half of the date was already set up. A few moments on the OpNet had given him a whole host of teen-focused clubs for them to visit and the nearby restaurants that catered to the under-aged crowd, the flower shop a few blocks from his place with Carver had given him a great deal on a dozen red roses, and he even mentally mapped out all of the right things to say and do that night. Unfortunately, that’s right when it all went to Hell.

When he had landed in Atlanta, Amped found the hairline crack in his travel case and the now deep-frozen (and ruined) flowers inside. Even worse, the flock of geese he had avoided over Kentucky had left him a little present which was now splattered all over his face and jumpsuit. Hence, Amped was now in a convenience store bathroom, frantically using wet paper towels to clean off goose shit. All of it seemed to be finally off the blue jumpsuit and he took a few milliseconds to reassess the situation. Like nearly all public bathrooms, this one was lit by flickering fluorescent tubes that painted the stained walls and dirty linoleum floor in a sickly green light. The toilet was something no self-respecting person, baseline or nova, would use in a non-emergency situation, and sink didn’t look much better either. The mirror was soaked with water splashed up by Amped’s high-speed cleaning and he wiped it away with yet another paper towel, adding it to the overflowing garbage can. His dirty reflection confirmed that the droppings were gone and the only thing left was to fix his tousled hair. A quick scrounge through his broken case produced a comb and bottle of gel and Amped spent a few achingly long minutes resorting trademark swoop in his hair. It would’ve been faster but it took twenty whole seconds just to bring his hair under control again. Finally, he unzipped his jumpsuit long enough to slap on some deodorant, fighting the stress-induced sweat that was already building. It was time to get moving; Jenny was going to kill him if he was late.

Amped swooped through the convenience store at his usual speed, nabbing a few cans of energy drinks, two Power Bars, and a few flowers from a meager display before stopping in the health and medicine aisle. For two seconds he stared the display, following an old and practice teenage ritual of wondering just what was going to happen that night. It’s not like they’d even have the time or the privacy, not unless they found some way to lose both the press and the Project. And was it even the right time yet? Did she want it? Hell, was he even wanting it? Deciding it’s better to be safe than sorry, Amped grabbed his last purchase and stopped at the counter to wait for the clerk. Time and the clerk, no more than a few years older than him, caught up to the nova and the clerk began to ring up Amped’s items. “You don’t need to hide the condoms, chief,” the clerk said with an experienced and amused smile that would have brought out a blush in Amped is his skin wasn’t blue, “I’ve been there before and I won’t sell the story to the press.”

Once the total began to appear on the register, Amped placed the exact change for his items on the counter, murmuring a “Thanks” at a speed slow enough for the clerk to understand, and he left the store at his standard clip. He started to review again what was going to happen and what he wanted to say to Dervish as he churned through the energy drinks and Power Bars. “You look great tonight.” “We need to stop meeting like this.” “Are all teenaged superheroes as cute as you?” Amped shook his head and hoped the right thing would come to mind when he saw her. A few seconds later he was at the agreed rendezvous point just after Dervish zipped place. Her broad smile filled his stomach with butterflies and he eeked out a smile in return as his mouth moved faster than his brain, “Sorry I’m a little late: I had to stop at the gas station to get crappy flowers and some condoms.” Even before he was done speaking Amped knew what was going to happen and the expression on Dervish’s face confirmed yet.

Yep, it was going to be a long, cold night in Atlanta.

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