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[Fiction] The Mile High Flub


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Denver Colorado, Nov 18th, 2016.

Early afternoon…

Silently and calmly Contessa’s foot stepped down upon the balcony of the Reagan Suite of the Brown Palace Hotel. Golden motes of quantum glitter shimmered their way down to the floor and faded out of existence. The luminescence of her eyes dimmed away and she gingerly strode into her suite.

With a careless gesture she tossed a few shopping bags down upon the couch as she passed by, heading to the door where she could hang her long sweater coat away until she needed it again. Her shopping was rather difficult; the snooty saleswoman kept a snide, condescending attitude during the whole affair. With a defeated sigh and a lazy ‘plop’ she collapsed into a chair far larger than should be humanly necessary.

She was the picture of quantum-forged perfection. Baptized in the boundless limits of her own desires Contessa Danae erupted into a nova whose beauty could incite nations to war. She slowly melted down into the chair, sliding off for a moment until she allowed her Nikes to catch on the carpet. The cotton of her shirt was stretched taut as she slid, distorting the image it bore into unrecognizable shapes across her natural assets. Reluctantly she pulled herself upright and straightened her shirt, allowing the faded “Nintendo” logo to become visible clearly once again.

Hello, Tim. I’m Contessa, pleased to meet you. she thought as she gazed at the pink bags sitting on the couch. She had been reciting it all morning as a mantra hoping to not embarrass herself too much during her meeting (date?) with a gentleman she had met in a nova chat room just a few nights prior. Hello, Tim. I’m Conte… wonder if he likes Flea better? she rolled her eyes at her own confusion and got up from the chair to search for hot chocolate.

Sometime later that afternoon…

“Oh my god! You cheater!” her clone shouted through the spacious interior of the suite.

“What? It was legal.” Contessa replied to her other self.

Both ladies sat in front of an enormous screen wearing identical blue sweatpants and matching hoodies. Their toes wiggled in bright white socks almost in unison as they gazed up at the screen, X-Box 1080 controllers at the ready for the next match of XWF Brawl Zone Alpha EX II.

“You said no using quantum limit break mode!” the Clonetessa complained to her host.

Tessa looked at her double and laughed. “No, I said that for last match. Get it together girl, geez.” She playfully leaned into her clone and pushed her lightly with her shoulder. “Oh, we’re back up. Let’s go.” She quickly straightened up and prepared for the next match.

Hello, Tim. I’m Contessa, pleased to meet you. her mantra continued.

A couple hours later…

Her slender hand smeared a visible streak across the surface of the mirror in the steam filled bathroom. She stared back at her reflection and blotted some stray water from her face and forehead. There was an obvious apprehension etched in her perfect features, a visible tension that reminded her once again that perhaps coming here was a bad idea. Tess, what are you doing?

Holding her towel in place she stepped through the suite in an attempt to get ready for her date (meeting?) with Flea. She looked down at the sable colored velvet dress she bought for this evening. While tasteful she knew it would be enough to crush the willpower of any feeble male soul in less effort than it took to perform a slow motion hair whip. Hello Tim. I’m Contessa, pleased to meet you.

Nervously she paced back and forth, looking from the dress laid out on the bed to herself in the mirror while she nibbled the nail on her pinky finger. Nervousness had reared its ugly head and she thought that if she blew out of here now she could say her grandma got sick or something. Yeah, great idea Tess. Run out. She thought. Come on, he seems nice. I can do this. I can. It’s just dinner! With that she spun on her heel and reached for the make-up case.

Two minutes later…

Contessa sat in a plush chair. Surrounding her on all sides were duplicates of herself. Two were filing and painting her nails. One was applying make-up and the last was doing her hair in an elaborate braid.

Yes… I know… I’m lazy. She reminded herself with a rather broad grin on her face.

Twenty minutes after two minutes later…

Cursing her lack of courage once more she, in a fit of paranoia, brushed her hands across the black dress slacks she wore instead. He would have thought I was a tramp. This is a better idea. Yeah…

The elevator slid open and with about as much courage as she could muster stepped out to locate Tim. Hello Tim. I’m Contessa, pleased to meet you…come on Tess, you can do this. She walked in the direction of the restaurant located in Brown Palace Hotel. The thick heels of her boots made a muffled thump on the carpeted floor but she heard each one with perfect clarity as her mind tried to distract her from the fact that her stomach was twisted into a dozen knots. Hello Tim. Where the heck are you?

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Rush Hour:

Timothy "Flea" Turner looked at the dashboard clock again, and suppressed a curse. 6:05 glowed the pale blue numbers. In the early Winter darkness, Tim could not see the source of the traffic jam which had left him and a few thousand other people motionless on Interstate 70.

"Fuck it," he growled, switching on his right-hand turn signal, hoping that if he had the chance, he could pull to the right and abandon his car.

In the lane to his right, the car ahead pulled forward ten feet, but to Tim's disappointment, the car at his side immediately crept into the gap. Despite his signal, his plan to move over was thwarted.

"Dammit," Tim muttered. Stubbornly, he left the signal on. Maybe the next opportunity would come soon.


Tim scanned through the FM dial, looking for traffic updates.

". . . stalled car on eastbound I-70 has traffic backed up in both directions. . ." reported the radio.

Tim was in the westbound lane.

"Fucking rubberneckers!" He shouted in impotent rage. "Move!"


"To Hell with this," Tim decided. "I'm late enough as it is." He could see the Brown Palace Hotel in downtown Denver from where he sat, only a mile or so away. Tim shut off the motor and killed the lights, and opened his door. Standing on the highway felt strange, despite the fact that no cars were moving.

"Hey buddy, what do you think you're doing?" shouted an angry male voice from a nearby four-by-four.

Tim picked up his car and held it over his head with both hands, like a weightlifter.

"Hey what?" Tim shouted back angrily.

"Nothin' man," the trucker responded quickly, "Never mind."

Tim carried his sedan to the right-hand shoulder and set it there. Thumbing the lock button on the remote fob and pocketing the keys, he looked to the distant hotel, and leapt toward it, arcing high through the night sky. Being careful not to touch his dirty hands on his clean clothes, he landed in the hotel's parking lot, in a three-point crouch.

"Restroom?" he asked the doorman, as casually as if he'd arrived by ordinay means.

"To your right, Sir," replied the doorman, matching his coolness.

In the restroom, Tim scrubbed the grime from his hands and dried them with a double-handful of paper towels. In the mirror he checked his appearance once more. Despite his unorthodox arrival, his black dress slacks, glossy leather dress shoes, grey oxford-cloth dress shirt with onyx buttons, and black blazer were still neatly draped on his lean frame. Tim gave himself a thumbs-up and a grin in the mirror, and then returned to the lobby.

Tim crossed the atrium to the restaurant and found Contessa already waiting there. Only an idiot would have called her ensemble "plain." Wrapped around her gorgeous body, a burkha could have made a stunning fashion statement.

Wow, Tim thought, momentarily amazed.

"Contessa?" he asked, crossing to where she stood. Self-consciously he tugged on his jacket's hem. "I'm Tim Turner, "Flea" in some circles. Sorry I'm late."

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Back and forth she paced in the foyer of the Brown Palace Hotel’s four-star restaurant. Occasionally she peered at the dainty crystalline watch that decorated her soft slender wrist. Well, this was a joyous waste of time. Should have figured he wasn’t going to show. Contessa’s stomach tightened into knots as the first pangs of hurt feeling began to creep their way up into her tightening throat. Be fair. He is a Utopian. He probably had business somewhere.

Contessa?" A man asked, suddenly stepping into her line of sight. He self-consciously tugged on his jacket's hem, but she instantly recognized him. "I'm Tim Turner, "Flea" in some circles. Sorry I'm late."

Like meeting me for a date! Were Tim Turner a telepath he almost assuredly would had heard the giggles of joy and cheers of excitement swelling up in Tessa’s mind.Woah… slow there. Get a grip, he’s looking at me like I’m a goober.

“Oh,” she started lying, almost a new record for a first date. “No worries. I… uh, just got down here myself.” Contessa giggled slightly, amending the sentence with a higher pitch than she intended to as a few waves of hurt feelings were quickly replaced by a bashful nervousness.

Tim Turner… here… with me. OMG… he’s even yummier close up. With a smile that could topple nations Contessa extended her hand. “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m uh, Contessa. Contessa Danae. But… I’m sure you already knew that…heh… pleasure to meet you Tim… Flea… uhh… Tim.” Her eyes rolled to one side, realizing she was tripping either over her own words or her tongue. “Our table is ready, I talked to the ‘take people to their table’ guy a second ago. Why don’t we talk over some wine, I’m anxious to here about all your awesome Utopian adventures.”

Did I just emote in my head? The obvious expression of ‘being somewhere else’ was faintly visible behind Contessa’s perfect blue eyes.

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Tim was immediately relieved to see that Contessa Danae was far more nervous and flustered than he was. He put on his best "reassuring and gentlemanly" smile and gently squeezed her hand once, while nodding politely.

"Okay, let's have a seat then," Tim said. Already he noticed that heads were turning in their direction as diners and staff alike noticed the two novas entering the restaurant. Let them look, he thought happily.

At the table, a choice table with an excellent view and far from the noisy kitchen, Tim pulled out Contessa's chair for her and smoothly stepped to the side.

"After you," he said graciously.

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“After you.” Mr. Turner spoke politely and seemed to impress Contessa more and more with each passing moment.

“Th-Thank you.” She blushed. To this point her only other date since her eruption and inheritance of quantum beauty was an invite to a Waffle House with a guy named Norm from the sales department where she worked. He wasn’t a bad guy, just not very… well… anything.

She sat and he casually assisted her as she pulled her chair back up to the table. She straightened her sweater and dress pants while Tim crossed the table and sat down. For a moment there was a silence while the two novas got their bearings. From all angles people stared, the normal low clamor of eating utensils tapping on fine flatware had all but ceased adding to an atmosphere that really didn’t seem to appeal to either nova.

Oblivious to the people around her Contessa tried to focus a bit more on the rather charming man sitting in front of her. “Well, we may have a few moments while the general public finishes oogling at you. You must be quite the celebrity around here.” **Gracefully she swept away her hair that had fallen over shoulder and time seemed to slow as the ‘audience’ could do nothing but give her their undivided attention. Without bothering to notice anyone but Flea, she placed her elbows upon the table and rested her chin down upon the backs of her locked fingers.** “So, Tim. Tell me about yourself. What’s it like working for Utopia and playing super hero?”


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"I don't think it's me they're looking at," Tim chuckled. Contessa leaned forward and rested her chin on her hands, and gazed at him with eyes as perfect and brilliant as stars.

"So, Tim," Contessa said, "Something something something. Something something Utopia something something."

Tim shook his head imperceptibly, as if to clear away the awe-induced fog that had temporarily clouded his thoughts. He chuckled and took a sip from his water, stalling for time as he tried to sort out just what Contessa had just said to him.

Think, man! Pay attention! he thought.

"Utopia?" He replied with a wry grin, "I'm sure Utopia's the best thing since sliced bread back in Addis Ababa, or New York, or Paris, but out here in Denver we have a saying around the office: 'Project Utopia, it's not an adventure, it's a job.' I don't really get to play super hero, I'm afraid. Most of the time I push papers on a desk, and when I do go in the field, it's publicity appearances and charity functions. Hell, my costume's not even Eufiber. Can you believe that?"

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She offered Tim a blushing smile as he complimented that it was she they were looking at, and not he. Contessa knew that her eruption had blessed her with near divine beauty, but Flea’s tone and delivery were nothing short of polite and sincere. He displayed that when spoken properly, even the obvious is pleasant to hear.

Did I say something wrong? She thought to herself as Tim seemed to stall for a moment. As always the unintentional use of her natural abilities went, for the most part unnoticed by her.

She listened intently as Flea spoke about Project Utopia. Admittedly, her heart was a bit broken by the truths her ‘date’ decided to share with her. She always thought Utopia was just like everything she had read in her comic books; amazing battles in far off lands, saving the people from oppression, throwing nuclear warheads into the sun… that kind of stuff. The possibility of a desk job never really crossed her mind.

“Gosh,” her head leaned away, mixed somewhat with disappointment, and a little pity as well. She thought Flea must had really been living the good life as a Utopian super… uh… guy. “That sounds kind of… well… sorry to say it, craptacular.” She sipped a bit from her water before continuing; wanting to make sure Tim didn’t think she was insulting him. “So, and pardon me if I’m prying, but why not just transfer to a more exciting place? Or perhaps, a new sort of job, where you can have a little more fun and enjoy it?”

After her inquiry her eyes seemed to dart to all points save for at Tim. Tessa normally fair cheeks flushed a bit deeper. She spoke, but as she did so she rubbed the side of her neck nervously, almost doing everything in her power to prevent eye contact with the gentleman nova sitting across they way. “Besides, public appearances aren’t so bad, right? You never know who might notice you.”

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"Well, that's a funny thing about Utopia," Tim said, holding his open menu low so that he could still talk to Contessa, "they really have all the novas they need. It's policy not to turn away any new nova who wants a job, but it's like they're stockpiling us, or preventing us from taking other offers."

Tim took a sip on his water and continued: "I've put in for promotions and transfers, but for whatever reason, I'm just not the nova they need in these other places." He shrugged. "It's like being good enough to play pro ball, but not good enough to ever make the starting lineup."

Their waiter appeared at just that moment.

Crud, Tim thought at the waiter's sudden arrival. He was about to mention to Contessa that he'd sent a resume to The Devries Agency. Now she's going to think I'm a lamer.

"Good evening," The waiter said quietly and professionally. He looked to Contessa. "Do you have any questions about our house specialties, or would you like to order?"

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Wow… Contessa thought as Tim told her a little more about his amazing ‘throw yourself from a god damn cliff’ job. Poor guy. Here I thought my life and job was teh suck. Wait a sec… And thus, in the stroke of a few empty thoughts swirling around the quantum muck Contessa Danae called ‘reality’ she formed a plan. A plan that could have only been hatched by a girl whose life was spent being raised in a world of comic fantasy. “Why not… you know, go solo? Like Batman, or Nightwing? Gawd that would be so cool. And don’t worry I’d so keep you identity a secret.”

It was at about this moment Contessa noticed that the waiter was looking at them both with an almost irritated expression, like he had better things to be doing. With out missing a beat she flashed them both an embarrassing, yet undoubtedly cute smile and amended her statement with, “And I’m sure he will too,” obviously directing the last comment to the waiter.

“Well… lessee…” she practically giggled to herself as she hoisted the menu up for inspection. If cuteness were toxic it would be at near fatal levels at the moment. “Oh! Wait. I do believe the charming gentleman across from me invited me out for steak.” She folded the menu down, her mind obviously made up. “Now that sounds good. I’m just dying to get some meat in me.”

The waiter nearly choked on his own tongue, and she dared not look at Tim’s expression. She knew what she had just said, and in today’s day and age sometimes what you say, and how you say it are often twisted into a meaning they were not meant to have. Oh. My, God! the panic quickly took hold of Tessa as she struggled not to turn as red as a lobster. I did not just say that… please tell me I did not just say that…

Pitifully she say there, with nothing but a clueless half smile and puppy dog expression upon her face that clearly informed any onlooker that she really just wanted to hide somewhere for a few eternities.

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The waiter refused to give in to impropriety. Without batting an eye, he continued as if absolutely nothing unusual had happened.

"The Delmonico steak is very highly recommended by the chef tonight," he suggested in an even voice which hinted at restrained professional pride in his restaurant's fare.

"That does sound good," Tim suggested to Contessa, doing his best to move the discussion away from what she had just said, "I could probably do with two of those." He looked to the waiter. "How large are they, anyway?"

"They're approximately eighteen ounces," the waiter replied.

"Definitely two, then," Tim confirmed. "How about you, Contessa?"

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Slowly but surely, her cheeks continued to blush in retaliation for her brain not filtering her mouth. "Oh, uhh. One for me please." She raised an index finger to help make herself clear. "I may have an enhanced metabolism, but I didn't get any extra room for it all. Same ol' stomach. Heh." She tried a laugh with a look of worry still on her face.

Thanks Tim. She thought, noticing the way he didn't make any attempt to acknowledge her comment, as if he knew how embarrassed she was already piled on top of heap of nervousness.

"Very well miss, would you like to see our wine list?" he asked, overcoming the rather embarrassing outburst with every phrase uttered in between.

"No need, Contessa replied. A bottle of Cheval Blanc please, I believe your manager mentioned to me earlier that you have a single bottle left. That will do fine." The sudden spark of authority came as a bit of a surprise to the waiter, be he composed himself quickly, nodded pleasantly and went to get their wine.

"It's an excellent wine. I'm sure you'll love it." She said to Tim, making eye contact for the first time since her faux pas. "I was thinking, just a second ago." Her voice trailed off a bit, like she had something to say but was still placing the words in order. "You know... what you do, for Utopia. I-I think it's great."

Slowly she spun her glass by its long neck with her slender fingers. "People look up to you Tim. Trust me, I know. I was at your last public appearance and I saw the way the kids looked upon you with an awe I can't even describe. You're a hero to them, a person they can aspire to be like one day.” Her perfect blue eyes seemed to hypnotically hold his attention as she spoke. “They believe in you, and that sort of belief can give people the strength to push on in life, to see past hardships and stuff. You know?" She smiled warmly. "You may not know it, but some of those people waited out there for a long time, just to catch a glimpse of Tim 'Flea' Turner, mild mannered paper pusher, who took time from his day to sign a few autographs and shake a few hands. I admire that."

Bashfully she fidgeted with the crystalline watch braided around her wrist.

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Tim was torn. He'd spent so much of this time denigrating his position in Project Utopia that it had become habit. Also, he'd started to believe himself. Now the most beautiful woman he'd ever met was sitting across the table from him-- on a date with him no less-- and telling him that she admired him for working for the Project.

Lie to impress the pretty lady or just tell the truth, he wondered.

No, there's a better way, he thought, taking a sip of his water. Tim smiled and set the glass down, nodding once thoughtfully and gazing into Contessa's eyes.

"I think I'd be more comfortable being idolized as a hero if I'd actually done something noteworthy," Tim avoided the word heroic, "instead of just signing autographs and cutting the ribbon on new shopping malls." Tim spread his hands slightly. "I don't feel like I've done anything to earn this, you know? The whole thing is like a big put-on, and I'm the dummy in the superhero costume who sits at a desk and wonders why the Project can't find a more creative use for me."

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  • 2 weeks later...

“I don’t think you’re a dummy,” all Contessa was missing was a shy giggle to accent her dimpled cheeks. “I think, whether you believe me or not, that what you do wonderful.” She picked at her piece of bread, daintily taking a bite and nibbling it away before she started up again. “Very few gu-,” Her correction is easily noticeable. “People that I meet seem as interesting as you are. I’m sure whatever it is you’re hoping for; you’ll get it, in time. If you want something, you certainly cannot be afraid to stand up and claim it.”

Her eyes darted bashfully around the dining area. The constant staring from the patrons was visibly disturbing her but Tim could tell she was doing her best to ignore them. “I-I’m sorry,” Her face suddenly succumbs to a revelation that leaves her startled. “I’ve been so nosey, and that’s hardly fair of me. Umm, I suppose it’s my turn to be interrogated.” Playfully she rolled her eyes and could already feel the embarrassment creeping in. “So, what would the great and powerful Tim Turner of Team Tomorrow like to know?”

She rested her chin into her palm while her other hand fiddled with the stem of her water glass. Tim found himself once again faced with her alluring blue eyed stare.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tim laughed ruefully. Team Tomorrow? he thought. Tim brushed his fingertips across his hairline and smiled, letting out an amused sigh.

"Team Tomorrow?" Tim asked rhetorically, "I uh, I don't know how to tell you this, but I'm not a tee-two-em." He diverted the subject slightly. "Okay, a question for you then: If we were a super duo, what would our comic-book names be, and what would we do? Seriously."

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"You don't have to be in T2M to be a super guy Tim." The compliment came rather casually to her. She liked Tim, so far was a very nice man and a great person to talk with. The wink she punctualted the statement with however, unknown to her, was laced with flirtation. She still hadn't quite a grasp on the fact that her expressions, and force of personality could have an effect on people.

"Oh!" She giggled, a bright smile forming across her full lips. "Now that's a good one. Well, for Holloween I copied myself and went as The Stepford Cuckoos." He grin flipped into a smile since she was very proud of her creativity that night. "But, I really don't know. I don't really have any kind of 'Super' powers. So I never really thought up a name for me."

She sipped her water with her eyes wandering off to the corners of her mind, telling Tim that she was working with the creative centers of her brain. "Multiple Girl? No... that's lame." He eyes squinted until she looked devious. "Voluminous." She giggled again. It could fit, after all if I waned to I could ake up a lot of space."

For a few moments she continued to think about it. "I'm not sure what my name could be. Given my propensity for bad luck I'd prolly have to go with 'Calamity'." Althought she wasnt' said as she said, it was evident she did not like the name. "It's what everyone calls me now." The slender glass spun some more in her delicate fingers. "As for you, what's wrong with Flea? I like it. Too bad Flicker is taken, because if I had super strength we could specialize a maneuver where I toss you into the bad guy and you plow into him like a thunder bolt. We could call it "The Flea Flicker". Cool huh?" Her child like smile compelte with heart-warming dimples told Tim she was really enjoying answering his question. "As for what we would do? Well, we would help people. Anyone and everyone. We'd fly all over the world righting wrongs and beating up the ner'do wells. You know, super hero stuff."

Suddenly the couple noticed the gentleman standing beside their table holding their bottle of wine at the ready.

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  • 1 month later...

Tim turned to the sommelier, expecting some kind of distinguished-looking old man to be standing there. Instead he was surprised to see that the sommelier was young and bookish-looking, with just a hint of Euro-trash style in his bobbed collar-length bobbed hair. Despite being near Tim's age, his bearing was still intimidating intellectually. Here was a man who had made an intense study of wine. Wine! What do you say to someone like that?

The sommelier met Tim's look through a pair or round steel-framed glasses and presented the bottle of Cheval Blanc for approval. Tim noticed that his hands were manicured.

"The Cheval Blanc," he said simply yet precisely, without introducing himself.

"I, uh, it's," Tim said uncertainly. What he knew about wine could be fitted into a matchbox without first removing the matches. Tim glanced to Contessa, hoping she'd help him. "Is this the one you wanted?" He asked.

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"Mmm! Yes." Contessa said with an elated smile. "Fabulous. Thank you so much." The gentleman slowly poured their first glass, faltering just slightly as he tried to remain focused while Contessa’s glass. After a moment the young man left the bottle with the couple and left them to their conversation.

“You’re going to love this Tim. It’s delicious.” She grinned, once again bathing him in her pearly smile. “I had some with my father a few years ago, but at almost a grand a bottle needless to say we didn’t’ keep much of it around the house.” Tessa chuckled.

“My father, he’s a bit of a wine buff. He’s a cardiologist, did I tell you that?” She cocked her head to the side, as if trying to remember. “My Mom is a lawyer. Which is sort of handy. When the client gets her bill my dad can always be on hand to tend to their up coming medical needs.” She sipped the wine with her eyes closed and almost seemed lost in a flavor akin to ambrosia. “Mmm. So, how about you? What are the parents of the mighty Tim Turner up to these days?”

So far so good Tessa. He looks just as lost as you are, he’s just a normal guy, and you’re just a normal girl. C’mon, try and relax a bit.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A grand a bottle! Tim boggled, struggling--and succeeding--in maintaining his composure. He had the ability to pay the bill; his job at the project ensured that, but this was still a needless extravagance in his opinion. Along with the taste for thousand dollar wine, Contessa was the daughter of a lawyer and a doctor. Tim felt the beginning of despair enter the edge of his thoughts. Contessa was, so far as he could tell, out of his class in every way except for one.

And there were enough men with nodes who came from her rung of the social ladder already. Tim felt ordinary.

"My parents are divorced," Tim said quietly but matter-of-factly. "Dad still keeps in touch from time to time, but I really don't have a lot to do with him. It's a long story." The understood subtext to that statement was it's an ugly story. "The last time I heard, he was living in Flagstaff."

"Mom, though," Tim continued, "Mom's in real estate, nothing big though. She's just a broker with a desk and a minivan and all that. She fell into it when dad left, way back in the day. There used to be a lot of times when her paydays would come a long, long time apart, but she's doing well now."

Tim took a sip of the wine, but didn't know what to make of it. Wine puzzled him. It never tasted the way he imagined it should. The difference between a fine wine and a poor one was so small that he could barely taste it. Tim supposed, if pressed, that this wine was tastier than others he had drank, but he would much rather have had a glass of Boulevard beer instead.

"She lives in Littleton, now," Tim added, referring to his mother, hoping to name-check a reasonably wealthy neighborhood into the conversation for a few extra points. He watched Contessa for any hint of a reaction, gauging the effectiveness of his gambit.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Littleton? Littleton… Littleton… Quickly Tessa poured through information in her head. Tim was so far an incredibly sweet man, but why did he all of a sudden seem so stern with her? Were his parents a touchy subject for him? Did she offend him? She started with the United States, and figured if she has to could move on to New Zealand, the United Kingdom or even Ireland next. Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, West Virginia all came up as options. Logically, since Tim was from Colorado she stared there. Littleton, population 47,281. Population density: 2,987.8/mi². About 4.0% of families and 6.8% of the population are below the poverty line, including 7.5% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of residents age 65 or over. Various other information cycled it’s way through her mind but she found nothing out of the ordinary. Littleton seemed like a nice place to live. The median income for a household? $52,882. The median income for a family? $67,059. Males? $44,614. Females? $35,179. Per capita income? $30,927.

Then it clicked. Contessa realized that she did come from a rather upper-class family and considered how that might seem rather intimidating for someone who wasn’t from her kind of background. She was certainly just an average fun loving girl, but poor Tim had no way of knowing that. All he had was perceptions, and all he perceived right now was a mega beautiful blonde bombshell ordering thousand dollar bottles of wine. Oh, Tim… I’m so sorry. She thought, suddenly feeling really bad for the guy across the table from her who was trying his best not appear as a complete waste of her time, not knowing he had already impressed in so many ways. Like being ‘just Tim’ for starters.

“Well,” She said, after sipping her wine again (using it as a cover so she would have time to sort through the encyclopedia she called a brain). “After tonight, please do me one favor, could you?” Her smile was sincere and bashful. “Tell her thank you, from me for raising such a gentleman.”

The steaks were delicious and the meal was (thankfully) not too stressing aside from an ‘accidental’ water spillage which Tim managed to contain rather heroically (that man sure could handle a napkin). Contessa asked or the wine to be billed to her room and what they didn’t drink at dinner to be sent there hoping a glass before bed time might help calm her nerves enough so wouldn’t have a heart attack in her sleep.

As they exited the hotel Contessa slid her slender hand beneath his arm and smiled warmly as she let him guide her out to the parking lot. He possessed and excellent physique and she giggled inside when she felt his bicep tighten as she surprised him with her sudden desire to be next to him. Flea was a wonderful man. He was kind, polite, and despite Contessa’s penchant for being a klutz and sometimes a walking disaster he had done everything in his power to remain respectful and accepting that nobody was perfect and both novas were nervous beyond anything science could hope to gauge.

It wasn’t until they were halfway through the parking lot that Flea realized that he was leading to a car that he left several miles away. Here she was expecting to maybe see a few sights of Denver with her ‘date’ and he had forgotten about leaving his car on the bridge!

“Wow, you really enjoy your exercise, don’cha?” Tessa said with a hint of playful sarcasm. “We’re running out of parking lot Tim, why didn’t you just let the valet get it?”

“Heh…,” Tim rubbed the back of his neck with his free arm. “Yeah, you see, about that…” He began to explain. He doubted she would care, in fact she would probably think it was hilarious, but guys have never good at explaining why or how they suddenly decided to improvise. Whether it was rewiring the vacuum cleaner or leaving their car on a bridge because traffic was a nightmare and it was faster to jump the remaining eight miles. Guys were funny like that.

“Oh!” She suddenly cut him off. “Wait, I owe you a Ferrari any ways, don’t I?” Her sentence trailed off into a tone of pure mischief. She released his arm and took a couple of steps in front of him. He watched as she walked out from where she was standing, three times!. The four women, who all looked alike, stood perpendicular from one another and it seemed to Tim like they would be working in convert on whatever devious plane Tessa had set her mind to.

“Ready ladies?” Tessa(?) asked. She was the one standing in front of Flea, and the one he assumed was the original. “I’ll form the front and the frame.”

“I’ll form this side and the electronics.” The clone on Fleas right replied.

“I’ll form this side, and I’ll handle the fluids and fuel.” The left clone added to the game plan.

“And I’ll form the head!” Chimed up the rather bubbly and excited clone that was standing where the rear of the vehicle was estimated to appear. The three ‘sisters’ scowled at the chipper little blonde buttercup. “What? Ferrari… Fifty foot awesome robot made from robot lions…” She shrugged casually. “Same thing.”

“You’re embarrassing us.” Tessa spoke up through gritted teeth.

“Fine. Alright already, I got everything else… I guess.” She seemed depressed. “I still think Voltron would have been cooler.” Tim heard he mumble as she winked and gave him a bashful wave.

Their eyes came aglow with a hue of light blue that matched the sky on a clear day. In the center of the women faint motes of quantum charged air molecules continuously sprang to being. Each floated for a moment and danced like a firefly before meeting a mate and becoming larger. This process continued until each part created took on the shimmering light blue silhouette of what it was to eventually become. Slowly each part came together, fusing and molding with the others adding to their luminance until they were all one and the light was too bright to stand any longer.

The light faded and as it did so the first bits of the vehicle could be seen. It was bathed in Cherry Red paint and the lights of the parking lot made it sparkle and almost glow. The ladies were admiring their work, it was obvious they had managed to impress themselves with this one.

“Seven hundred and twenty horse power. Who says we ain’t got men completely figured out? We know what they want.” Bubbly Clone chimed up breaking the silenced awe that was worn on the faces of those who had seen the commotion and came running to see what the novas were up to.

The ‘real’ Contessa was sitting on the hood, her legs crossed and a grin of absolute child-like playfulness beaming from her beautiful features. She tossed something at Tim and he effortlessly plucked the key to the Ferrari from the air. “Well, Tiger. Night’s young and the tank’s full.”

Flea was snapped into reality by a large hand on his shoulder. A huge black man was eyeing both the car, and Contessa with a vested interest. “Dawg… marry dat’ girl. Marry. Dat. Girl. Know what I’m sayin’?” He joked with him, before walking off to take a look at the vehicle before the two novas drove away.

Contessa’s face was berry red but she was laughing at the stranger’s comment. One by one her clones blinked out into golden humanoid shaped flecks of glitter. “Ready?” She asked him.

She couldn’t remember a time when she ever had this much fun.


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