Monday, May 28, 2012

Back from the Dead #7

The Boolean knew Red Dean as his squire.  He knew that Red Dean was also referred to as the Bandit Dean of Canterbury, although there was some controversy using the name “Bandit” in reference to any other superhero besides the one who operated out of Bowie, TX.  He knew that Red Dean had a curious relationship with Orion’s Belt.  He knew that Red Dean, along with Orion’s Belt, Meme, Bruin, and the Biker, was part of the alliance Ellen Encanto, the Witch Doctor, had put together after returning from the dead, an unexpected development of her murder at the hands of Widowmaker.

There were many things the Boolean knew.  He was a member of the Council because he knew things.  The Council consisted mostly of superheroes who were known as fairly typical superheroes, of whom Alpha Dog was the most typical.  Justin Proper was more typical than the Boolean.  Ajax was more typical than the Boolean.  Sky Fox was more typical than the Boolean.  For one thing, the Boolean had a name that, although an obscurely familiar concept, was not a household name, except in his particular context.  But he was not in himself a household name.  He was a facilitator, and thus more familiar to the rest of the Council than to anyone else.

The Boolean didn’t particularly care.  He existed on almost pure logic.  He made connections within the database of his knowledge that enabled his teammates to be more effective.  Until the return of the Witch Doctor, the Council was most effective in its deployment of their individual squires.  The members of the Council were all recognized as exceptional superheroes, but they left most of the typical activities of a superhero to their squires.

This was not what most people thought of as superhero activity, and in fact would still have assigned all of the attention for cumulative results to the Council, but in truth, despite appearances, it was the squires who did most of the work.  Until the return of the Witch Doctor, everyone was fine with how this system worked.

The Boolean understood why the Witch Doctor wanted to change things.  Death tends to be a significant event, and return from such an experience is bound to change one’s perspective.  The Boolean had a catalog of every superhero who had ever returned from the dead, and thus knew better than anyone what to expect.  As a member of the Council, he was supposed to ignore this particular set of facts, and instead focus on the interests of his teammates, which he himself would have noted was exactly what the Witch Doctor was attempting to do, making an effort to make sure what happened to her never happened again.

He studied Red Dean to better understand what he should do next, hiding behind analysis to circumvent both the wishes of the Council and any practical concern for the league of squires.  Red Dean had always been a loose-cannon, centered on his own interests and gadgets, conducting himself in a carefree manner but otherwise submitting to the wishes of others, and more often than not his superiors.  Throwing his lot in with someone else’s wishes so completely as he was doing now was simply not in his character.  It exhibited an extreme amount of discipline, where his previous motivation was all about displaying character.

He noted that Red Dean had changed his garb, so that there was no longer, in fact, any scarlet in his wardrobe, a curious development that the Boolean was at a loss to explain.  One of the benefits of this alternation was that Red Dean now looked a lot more like his new friends.  It was a matter of conformity that the Boolean associated with misfits, which was exactly what the rest of the Council considered their squires, just not previously in direct association with one another.

If the Witch Doctor failed in her apparent mission to eliminate Widowmaker, would any of it matter?  That was what the Boolean really wanted to know.  He studied Red Dean in order to determine how much he was actually being affected by all of it.  So far, at least superficially, the Boolean had to conclude, “a great deal.”

Should he be alarmed?  Was that the conclusion he should bring to the rest of the Council?  Perhaps.

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