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Dispensing Justice - Chapter 10 - Diana to the Rescue

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When high school freshman Michael Gurrick's father is killed by supervillains, he takes up his father's supersuit and seeks justice (or will it be vengeance?) against his father's killers. (e)

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Chapter 10 — Diana to the Rescue

I started down the hall towards the front of the house. But before I reached the foyer, the door opened, and in came Diana carrying a steaming casserole, without, I might note, the benefit of oven mitts. Even in the post 1947A Galactic cleanup world, Diana is imposing. She's standout statuesque, six foot two, and a coppery redhead like Penny. I stood aside.

She smiled encouragingly at me and said, "Hello, Michael," as she strode past. Behind her came her husband Hank, a tall, rangy man with salt-and-pepper hair, then Penny, and finally, Penny's two eleven-year-old siblings that we not-so-affectionately called the 'Terror Twins', Andy---short for Andromeda---and Achilles. Sometimes I wonder whether Diana takes her secret identity as a professor of Classical Studies at Metro U a bit too much to heart.

"I brought dinner, Liz," Diana said, leading her domestic assault squad through to the kitchen. Andy stuck out her tongue at me as she went by, and Achilles gave me a look like it was my fault he was missing an episode of the A-Team. I followed, feeling an irrational dollop of pleasure at the twins' irritation.

The parade deposited a casserole, hot rolls, steaming beans, salad, and pie on the kitchen counter.

"Set the table, Michael. You help him, Penny," Diana said, taking charge as thoroughly as she did on the battlefield, despite the absence of her form-fitting silver superwear, mask, bow, and quiver.

Mom was making weak protesting noises as Diana herded her out of the kitchen with a "You look like you need a drink, Liz."

'Dad' and Hank sized each other up like a couple of beta-males assessing their chances. The twins disappeared down the hall and into the rec room, shoving each other as they tried to go through the door simultaneously.

"Grab that end," Penny said, and we lifted, pulled, and manipulated the expansion leaf out of its hidden slot under the table without crushing so much as a single finger.

"SimOlympus!" Achilles said from the rec room.

"Galactic Bounty Hunter 4!" Andy chanted back.

"Sibs," Penny said, "Can't live with 'em, can't strangle 'em in their sleep."

"Blissfully, I wouldn't know," I said. I started shuttling plates and silverware while Penny positioned them.

As I came and went with glasses and et cetera, 'Dad' and Hank started cleaning up the remains of Mom's cooking, talking about the latest human gaffe towards a Galactic ambassador, as if they really were old friends. Hank was handling the situation like a pro. But then he was a reporter for GCTV, so he did have experience as an actor of sorts.

Diana and Mom reappeared. Diana was carrying a tray with four martini glasses filled with something bright yellow. She distributed them among the adults.

"Are these Golden Apples?" 'Dad' asked, real curiosity in his voice.

"Yes," Diana said with a wicked smile, "My sister's recipe. So good they'll make even the gods argue."

'Dad' laughed, and Mom attempted to suppress a look of shock. He even had Dad's laugh.

The rec room had gone quiet. "That's not a good sign," Penny said softly to me. Moments later, there was a crash just to prove her point.

"You'd better take care of them, Diana," Hank said.

There was another, even louder crash, and Bernoulli appeared in the doorway to the kitchen, barking, tail wagging.

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