MachinstMy contacts are trying to get me killed!

Okay. I’m a hero. An official, card-carrying hero. It’s my job to put myself in danger to try and keep the various forces of evil – and Paragon City has plenty! – at bay.

That doesn’t bother me. I knew what I was getting in to, and it’s what I want to do.

Sometimes, though, I have to wonder what planet our contacts are on.

I had a mission to go save some people from a contact in Talos Island. I went out and did it, and I found something. A hunk of old stone, vaguely wedge shaped. Since they were all fighting over it, I presumed they thought it important, and I showed it to her.

She said, “This… this is important!” and I thought, “Oh, great.”

She then told me that this was part of a terrible, and thought lost magic item called the Wheel Of Destruction. Auspicious name, eh? It sounded bad to me, and I asked her what she was going to do with it.

She would have none of that though. She told me, “I feel it… this is important! You have to keep this!”

Oh, great. A Wheel Of Destruction of my very own. Just what I always wanted! I can keep it on the coffee table to start conversations. “Yeah, that. That’s the part of the Wheel Of Destruction. I use it to keep National Geographic from blowing around when the window is open.”

I tried to protest. I told her that I didn’t want it, that I didn’t know what to do with it, that I’m more a technical person than in to magic. How about I run it over to the MAGI offices and let them have it? I’m sure they’ll be thrilled.

No, no, “I feel this is for you to do, and you alone!”

Darn it, woman! Move back to California with all the other fruits and nuts! I didn’t sign up to be a hero to do everything alone! I didn’t want this, but it seemed there was little choice.

I kept it.

This ever-helpful woman kept finding more of the darn thing too, and sending me out to get it. Tsoo sorcerers and Banished Pantheon zombies and hulks. They’re soooo hunnngrrryy, and they wanted this thing. Gee! I have part of it! Let’s take it to them! Not my concept of a good idea here!

So, after days of struggling against these undead, gun-toting maniacs, and shuriken-throwing losers, I have the whole thing.

A rare, powerful, dangerous magic item. Of my very own. Arrgh!

Finally, my contact decides maybe, just maybe, the folks at MAGI would like to see it. I gladly hot-foot it over there, pausing only to zap the heck out of the handful of zombies that tried to waylay me en route.

Object delivered. Whew. I do some other stuff. The next day, I gave my contact a call, and asked how she was. She thanked me for all the work I’d done, and said she had an easy one for me, patrolling Independence Port.

She’s right, it’s a gravy job, and I went and did it. Twenty minutes of bouncing around the docks, and calling in at the police boxes. They were even all working this time. Mission accomplished. I called her back, and said, “The docks are no worse than usual.”

She had news for me. Naturally, it was dire, horrible, scary news. The Wheel Of Destruction had been stolen. Right from MAGI! “Tough break. Hope they send their best to get it back. Those zombies are a pain.” I said.

She said, “You have to go get it back! And hurry! Or they’ll destroy the world!”

What? I said, “I didn’t lose it! Why can’t MAGI send some of their hotshot wizards in? Or call Statesman or something? This sounds, you know, important.”

Her reply, “You’re wasting time, Machinst! You’ve got to get the Wheel Of Destruction back! It’s been activated!”

With a heavy heart, I went off, muttering, “Activated. Whatever that means.” When I got there, I found this huge cemetery, overrun with zombies and Death Masks and spirits and stuff. A whole world of horrors. Just great.

So, I had to go get the Wheel, and stop this boss guy and his henchmen. Fine. I decided I would do that. I jumped around merrily, the anti-gravity gyros in the boots working with their usual efficiency. It helps that zombies are stupid and never look up, either, unless I land right on them.

I bounced around and found the parts. There were four of them, and they were glowing. Not just wedges of old stone any more, glowing, sparkling magic items. Just what I needed. I wrapped them in my cape to try and keep them from being so obvious, and kept looking.

As I found them, I realized I was getting these weird magic powers. Woah. Fiery armor, and a long fire sword. And fists of fire. Just what a fragile electric blaster needs, huh? My goal is to stay as far away as possible from the bad guys, and zap them till the fall down. The farther away I am, the happier I am. I mean, on a good day I’m half a block away from them. So, here’s a sword, and fiery fists. Worthless. And hot. And they make my teeth itch. I don’t like magic.

Oh yeah, there was a “mystic portal” or something that I had to find. I found it and kicked the crap out of it until it wasn’t so mystical any more. It was a fancy pile of rocks. Feh.

Finally, I found the boss-man. He was standing with a handful of henchmen at the top of this big mausoleum or something, and surveying his world of power. He never saw me coming, until my snipe hit him, followed rapidly by a barrage of lightning bolts. He fell right down. His four henchmen didn’t fare much better. They couldn’t reach me where I was standing, and their pistols didn’t hurt me enough to worry about. Naturally, I took out the big one with the shotgun first.

Mission accomplished. I left all the other guys rattling about the place. Must have been a couple of hundred of them. They’ll get bored and go away without their boss, or go do something else. Or maybe some contact with a clue will call the National Guard or something. Anyway, they’re just zombies. Well, and a few crazy mages and strange spirits, but whatever.

So, this time Azuira, the head lady from MAGI said she’d look after the Wheel Of Destruction personally. I wish they’d have been more careful with it in the first place.

And why wouldn’t my contact listen when I told her I didn’t need it! Arrgh!

It’s one thing to volunteer to go fight crime… it’s another to spray paint a target on yourself and stand in the middle of a firing range.

Maybe we could try and make this a less dangerous job, huh? I suppose I could call OSHA, but they’d just laugh at me and hang up.

Hopefully my next tasks won’t be so foolish.