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Madam Marvelous
The magnificent arena for the Hero Olympiad stood before me. I leaned my head back and strove to take in the majesty of the building. How did they build this so quickly and without anyone knowing about it? My parents tried to build a garage on our property and complained for months about the rules, regulations, inspections, titles, architects, and dozens of other details the city insisted were necessary for new construction. Dad eventually gave up and bought an aluminum free-standing carport to keep his vehicle under. I think I need to get the info on BADGE’s construction firm for my parent’s anniversary.

        I came with some friends I had made on the BADGE Orbital Space Station during my recent stay there. Angelus complained the entire trip over that there wasn’t a marksmanship competition.

        “Bows and Arrows. Knife Throwing. Axe Throwing. It doesn’t have to be pistols,” he continued to whine. “Heck, I’d have been plum tickled if there had been a discus throw or shotput event like in the even older-days, but I have to contend with ping-pong? I feel like a gambler that’s done been dealt a hand of nothing but horse s—”

        “There’s a young girl present, Angelus,” Isfet said. The two of them were in the same league together, the Scottish Claymores - MacGreggors. She accompanied us, and I liked her, even though I was fairly surprised to see her there with us. I will admit, she had great taste. Her costume looked a lot like my Madam Marvelous costume.

        “Sweet tarnations, Isfet. The only way to let me get a burr free is if I work it out from under my saddle,” Angelus said. “Kitt’n here’s heard worse, I’m sure.”

        There was a large brazier burning I before the entrance. I handed Angelus my phone. “Here. If you want to shoot something, shoot a picture of me next to that.” I shifted into my Madam Marvelous form that I planned on competing in. It was time for me to start building a name for myself.

        Angelus scoffed. “This ain’t the same, but as you wish, little lady.”

        I struck a pose so I wouldn’t forget being at my first Hero Olympiad. I hoped I would do well, but I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Many others shared the same questioning face I had. What would it be like? Would we all just lay down on the arena floor and start doing pushups? Most wins at what? Contests of Skill? Elemental Battles? A marathon? The events were still a bit of a mystery.

        “Say Sarsaparilla,” Angelus said.

        “What happened to cheese?” I asked.

        “Are you taking this photograph, or am I? The word is Sarsaparilla!”

        I smiled, more from his reaction that to the need to look pretty for a picture.

        “Should we head in?” Isfet asked. “I think they are getting ready to start making announcements soon.”

        Fireworks exploded overhead. Heroes were directed to walk the track and be announced as they entered a promenade celebrating their notoriety. After completing a lap, we were directed to hallways leading to stairs up to the audience seating.

        We climbed the steps up into the stadium seats surrounding the open arena field. Hundreds of other heroes were there, some dressed in their hero costumes, some in athletic wear, and a few in traditional Greek clothing. I waved at Ms. Fae as she sat in the opposite section of the vast structure. She wore a white toga and laurel wreath upon her head. As she waved back, I had to wonder if she modeled for one of the ancient statues I’d seen at the New Amsterdam Art Museum. I knew she wasn’t that old herself, or I didn’t think she was, but the resemblance was uncanny.

         I recognized many others of the people in attendance from the 4th of July party. I couldn’t help but to be a bit star struck. Captain Picard was there, as well as several members of the 5th Precinct leagues. Rapscallion of another group of the Scottish Claymores - Stewarts pseudo-saluted Angelus. The Sword of Geraxia and Astra were both there, as was Zombie Ex-Girlfriend. The WMD – Black Order commanded one entire section to themselves.

        “Why don’t we mosey on up to the front there and get within spitting distance of the speakers.” Angelus held up his hands after Isfet gave him a stern and entirely disgusted look in response to his suggestion. “I’m not plannin’ on doin’ any spittin’, it’s only a turn of phrase darlin’.”

        “Up front will be fine,” I said.
        EB was at the microphone tapping at it. “Testing…Testing…Testing…”       

       "It works fine. Leave it alone!” Nova’s hushed, but emphatic, voice came over the loudspeakers.

        We took our seats and awaited the announcement of what would most likely be a very eventful few days.
Madam Marvelous ID#26130