The tall man led us down a hallway lined with display cases. Inside them, I could see recreations of some of his most famous work. Chúchúlain’s kilt and tunic, Amygdala’s armored dress, the notoriously durable helmet of Chèvre, and in a massive case above the door at the end of the hallway we could see the gold and purple suit of Fortitude, the worlds greatest hero. This was the guy who kicked Samjoko through a mountain range, saving all of Western Asia. Power and Bellator, two of the strongest metahumans on earth, were his kids. He stalemated Force in an arm wrestle, who previously had thrown a spaceship bigger than Mount Everest back into orbit. As of now he was off world, fighting against the Galactic Coalition’s military on behalf of our only allies, The Fighting Ones. In short, guy was an all around badass.
“I wonder if his dick itches in that thing.”
Thanks Carlos. Way to ruin the moment.
“I mean it looks really tight, and there is no way he would ever scratch there if cameras could see him, or if he was around little ki-”
“Shut up Carlos. I don’t want to be known as ‘Those Guys who talked about Fortitude’s dick in front of The Tailor.'”
Just then the door swung open and I could hear an older man, in a faint German accent clear his throat.
“I’m afraid it’s a little too late to stop me from hearing those words,”
Oh shit oh shit oh shit
“But I can assure you that not only will this conversation not leave this room, all my costumes, and their codpieces, are the pinnacle of comfort and will NEVER itch. Now have a seat and explain your powers to me.”
One thing you should know is that I do not tell people the true limits and capabilities of my powers. It’s just stupid. The less your enemies know about you the better. Sergei however was an exception. He had earned the reputation as one of the most trustworthy men in the world, and I doubted a little secret like my powers would give him cause to break his word. And so for the secind time in my life I sat down told someone everything.
“I’m a chronokinetic. I control time relative to me. This usually manifests as me speeding myself up to the point where my average jogging speed becomes less 11 miles per hour, and more Mach 11. Which is my limit, if you didn’t know. The thing about my powers though is that I’m not actually moving really fast. I’m just kind of sped up. Physically I can only do what a normal person can do, only a lot faster.”
“So no wall running or Jesus impersonations for you.”
“Exactly. Also let’s just say if I punched someone, to me I hit them at normal speed, so my hand doesn’t shatter or anything. To them however, they just got hit by a object moving at ridiculous speeds that doesn’t brake when it connects. So, splat. Same things goes in reverse. Bullets don’t hurt, because to me they’re barely moving. They still hurt to touch, because of how hot they are.”
“So your suit needs to deal with extreme temperatures because your body cannot.”
“Uh, yeah. I also can create shockwaves by speeding up the noises I make, or the wind I produce when moving.”
“Does your power lend you any extra endurance?”
“Um, not that I know of.”
“Alright then. Excuse me for a moment while I make a few prototypes. Anything you specifically would like to add?”
“Could you add in little ball bearing dispensers on the sleeves? Like something I could use to fling them with? Like a tube on each side?”
“I can do that.”
Sergei, in his wrinkled sweater and jeans, hurried off into a back room, muttering something about tensile strength, and the color blue.
For about ten minutes Carlos and I awkwardly sat, leafing through a few magazines we found on an end table. Apparently since I’ve been gone, Micheal Jackson died, Reality T.V. became a thing, and Kanye had became a douche.
This was proof the world needed me.
When he returned, four robots followed him. Each were wearing what I presumed to be the costume prototypes. Two of them had the classic spandex look, while the other two seemed more modern and military focused.
Sergei walked up to me, bowed, many began to explain his work.”All of these suits are armored, and can protect a user for ten seconds against a blowtorch, or liquid nitrogen. They are equipped with a revolutionary non mechanical exoskeleton-like device, which conserves energy and makes it easier to run while wearing. Even at my age I could run four six minute miles wearing it. All four suits are functionally the same, each with the same amount of protection, and cost.”
I took a second look at the costumes, and immediately one caught my eye. It was dark blue, with black plates of armor accenting muscles I definitely did not have. Its mask had no features, except for two orange lenses that I assumed were for eye protection. The actual face part of the mask was dark blue, while everything under the jawline and behind the ear was black, which extended down to the neck. The mask seemed to end at the hairline, and above it was a startlingly good recreation of my hair. I asked Sergei about it, and he told me that he liked the free hair look, but it compromised teleprotection. So, he decided to make fake hair. I turned to Carlos and pointed at the suit.
“Carlos, I’m thinking that one, you like?”
“I’m not wearing it, so go ahead.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“That doesn’t sound like a go ahead.”
“No no no. If you want to look like that, go ahead.”
I gave him my best death stare.
“Naw I’m kidding. It’s good,” he turned to Sergei, “How much do we owe ya?”
The Tailor cleared his throat.
“Fifty thousand up front.”
Carlos picked up the stolen shoebox and handed it to the tall man who had just left his spot by the door and now stood behind us.
“I trust the right amount of money is in here. Otherwise I would have to inform the authorities about your shoplifting. They would certainly have some questions about why you were visiting me and how you got the money in the first place?”
I swallowed a bit and stared him in the eye. “It’s there.”
He smiled and snapped his fingers. One of the robots walked up to me and handed us a large red box emblazoned with a gold T in the center. “Good. Now, my assistant will show you out. Have a nice day.”
We followed the tall man back down the hallway, and through the portal, which quickly disappeared once we left it. I turned to Carlos, and waved goodbye.
“I gotta go back to my place, and uh, settle some things.”
He waved back. “Peace!”
I sped home, only to find myself face to face with a very ticked off looking neighbor of mine.