Shelly's Story - Part 5
Paul Mann, my boss and the guy I had been sort of falling for, was designing a powersuit that would make his “Captain Satellite” nickname come true and turn him into a superhero. I shook my head to clear the cobwebs. It was a lot to put together at four o'clock in the morning.
The way Paul explained it, he'd come up with the idea the day that lunatic had attacked him - the day I'd saved him. Turns out the guy was an agent of some group called Third World, and they had threatened Paul in the past. That incident hadn't been the first time they had tried to carry out one of their threats, and Paul was sure it wouldn't be the last. He'd hired me partially because he needed someone to prepare him for the action side of superheroing, since he had the science part mastered.
“Partially? Why else did you hire me?” I asked.
“Because you're the first person in a long time I thought I could trust,” he replied. “I didn't tell you about this because it sounded too insane.”
He was right about that. But still, it did make a certain kind of sense. Kinda. I agreed to help Paul make his Captain Satellite dream come true. Only now, I was fully in on the secret. We worked harder than ever, totally dedicated to making it happen. Weeks later, Paul activated his Digital Changer (imagine a really cool watch) and it transmitted the uniform directly onto his body. I held my breath as he calmly stepped out his third story window and shot into the sky.
After ten minutes, the new Captain Satellite returned from his first test flight. I swear, I don't think I've ever seen a bigger smile than Paul's when he pulled off that mask. He took me into his arms and hugged me. It was the first time he'd ever let his guard down enough to even manage something as simple as a hug.
Captain Satellite soon made his official debut battling a Third World squadron holding hostages. Paul was even more in demand than ever, and the people who had made fun of him weren't talking anymore. He kept asking me if I wanted my own powersuit, but I always turned him down. I'd go along with this Captain Satellite business, but I wasn't about to wear a costume. I like to handle problems a little more realistically.
That was what Paul - what Captain Satellite - needed. He needed someone to connect him to reality, someone who wasn't hopelessly caught up in out-of-this-world craziness. He needed someone to watch his back, because he still wasn't where he needed to be as a fighter. He needed...well, me. I was still his bodyguard, and I was going to make sure I earned that title.
Everything changed all over again when we found ourselves held captive in a flying saucer somewhere in the neighborhood of Neptune. Don't even ask how that happened. What you need to know is that Cap had been zapped by some sort of beam that had drained his suit's power and knocked him for a loop. As he lay on the cold floor of the spaceship, he crawled over to me. I can't remember a spot where it all felt so desperate and hopeless as it did at that moment.
“Shelly,” he gasped as I dragged him up. “If we don't make it out of this, I just want you to know...I love you.”
I responded to this by punching him. I wouldn't exactly call it one of my finest hours.
“Why did you wait until now?” I screamed. “And we are getting out of this! You aren't giving up!”
We did get out of it, of course. I mean, I'm telling you about it today. And when we got home, I yanked that silly mask of his off and kissed Paul Mann for the very first time. It was worth the wait.
If you had told me when I was on that plane flying from Texas to Major City that someday I was going to be a superhero's partner, and an action hero in my own right, I would have told you that you had lost your mind. If you had added that I'd wind up with a boyfriend who was one of the richest and most intelligent men on Earth, I would have laughed in your face. It all sounds way too unbelievable. But it happened.
Excitement? Adventure? I've gotten them in spades. I wouldn't trade this life for anything.