Challenge #01272-C177: Pep Talk

Villains visiting their fans, or visiting hospitals for non-nefarious reasons -- Gallifreya

[AN: I skipped the BuffySpeak one for now because I really need two screens for that nonse]

Lori was writing a new cipher. It was something to do while she was guarding the door. She had made so many that it was a time-killing occupation. Something she could do while absently watching the halls for heroes that had not got the memo.

She was the Villain Wrangler, and she had a job to do.

Inside, the Mega-evil Maestro of Malevolence, Master Mayhem, was giving his version of a pep talk to a five-year-old girl who was his biggest fan. She was fighting an insidious disease that even the best of medicine gave her a fifty-fifty chance for.

Things like that could make you hate God for letting it happen.

And yet, the pep talks worked. Kids who got to see their heroes - good or evil - rallied and had up to an eighty percent chance of survival.

And speaking of heroes... Lori stood at alert as the Grizzled Avenger strode up the hallway. He vaguely saluted her as he passed. "Relax. You're cool. I got an appointment in 221B."

"No funny business," warned Lori.

"Hey. I can learn."


"Fighting against heroes is painful. There hasn't been a day when some hero hasn't busted a bone or left me with multiple haemmorhages."

"I knew you'd be the only one who understands," whispered Jennie. She had an unfair share of bruises and casts, because the disease that had her was eating her bones and making her flesh frail. The doctors were as careful as they could be, but a feather would leave a bruise. "What makes you pick yourself up, every time?"

"Because the heroes don't understand things like I do. They're all tough and strong and they can fly. They don't know what it's like to be broken and bleeding and still determined to see it through. I pick myself up because some things need to be done, and I'm one of the few who can see how it can be accomplished. And by the way, I'm loaning this hospital a little bit of my technology. It'll help you. And other children like you. I've needed it more than a few times, myself."

"Does it hurt?"

"Stings a lot. You get all the pain of healing at once. But I'll make sure it has super-low settings for people who... aren't as used to it as I am."

"I want to control that," said Jennie. "The doctors think I'm weaker than I am."

"Done and done," said Master Mayhem. He handed her his card. "This is ultra-secret. Don't let anyone else see it. Not even your family. Not even your dolls or your pets. But if any of the doctors give you trouble, or if there's another meannie nurse. You give that number a call. I'll come and fix things up."

Jennie giggled, and hid the card inside her diary, where the glittery plastic binding was coming loose. Then she put her finger to her lip and whispered, "Ssshhh..."

Master Mayhem echoed the gesture. "All good?"

"All good. Thank you."

Lori would see to his safe escape. And the hospital would soon receive his Healing Accelerator with upgrades for patient control and in lovely, kid-friendly colours.

He'd have his alter-ego make the PR department dress it up. He was pretty much pants at making things cute. They kept looking ultra-scary.

But Jennie would probably use it anyway.

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