I promised at the end of Bob Moore: Desperate Times and in one or both of the Behind the Scenes Podcasts (here and here) that I’d post some of the scenes that got cut from the book. This first one was from near the beginning as Bob is driving home from the terrorist bust. The point of this scene, in my mind, was to show that Bob has much more tolerance for tippys than he does for supers. It was also to show how the Inertial Dampener worked though that ended up not being important since the damn thing didn’t really show up until the end. Lastly, I wanted to show how much Bob detested the supers though, again, this came out through the rest of the story just fine. It’s weird because I write my stories chronologically so I didn’t know if I would need this scene until I finished. Turned out I didn’t. I felt this was a good cut as it slowed down the story and I never really liked the scene. It just felt forced and contrived to me, even when I was writing it. I fully expected this one to get cut.
* * *
Unfortunately, I hit a red light and decided to stop. Around me were tall buildings averaging twenty stories with small shops on the ground floor and offices or tenements on top. A few had subterranean garages like mine, but most didn’t, as there was usually a multi-story parking garage within walking distance. A few cars passed in front of me as I waited for the light. A car pulled next to my door.
Inside, there were five boys probably barely old enough to drink. The driver looked at me, drawing the attention of the others. The boy in the passenger seat leaned out, “So, pops, didn’t you hear? You’re supposed to stay inside tonight.”
I nodded turning back to the road. “Pops? I’m probably only ten years older than you, you know.”
Why, Bob? Just, why?
“What did you say! What did he just say?”
I reached down to my belt buckle and flipped the switch of the Inertial Dampener to the on position. A faint vibration let me know it was working. “Listen guys, let’s not blow this out of proportion. I’m not looking…”
As I spoke, the boys exited their car. Only two of them looked seriously dangerous, baseball bats in their hands. The others puffed out their chests and tried to look intimidating. “You know, that car’s a real piece of shit.”
I shrugged. Aside from the engine, which was a mishmash of aftermarket parts easily doubling the horsepower of the original, it was. When you deal with supers on a regular basis, you don’t invest much into a car. It isn’t worth the hassle, or expense. “Listen guys, let’s not do this.”
“Do what, Pops?” It was the boy from the passenger seat. He was taller than the rest and well built. He swung the bat around lazily. “Beat the shit out of you and take your car?”
I chortled, “Yeah, that’s not happening.”
His eyes got wide, “Really? How you figure?” His eyes shifted and I heard the sound of heavy exertion behind me.
I turned in time to see the expression of confusion on the driver’s face as his bat came to a sudden stop an inch from the back of my head, its inertia absorbed by the field. “You see, not happening.”
One of the three without a bat pointed at me, “You’re a super!”
“No…” I objected.
“Where’s The Bulwark?”
“Is everyone dead?”
Their questions shot out of them so fast, I could barely identify the questioner.
I put my hands up, “Guys, you’ve got this all wrong. I’m no super.”
“Bullshit. You’ve got powers!”
“Listen,” my jaw clenched, “I’m NOT a super.”
They looked confused, their bats forgotten.
“I’m just a guy, like you. Well,” I made a show of looking at their weapons and how they had surrounded the car, “not exactly like you.”
The three younger ones without bats shifted nervously, the others moved their bats to their sides or behind them.
“Isn’t it a bit late to be out? I’m sure you have people at home who could use strapping lads, such as yourselves, to protect them.”
They nodded, moving quickly back to their car. I looked up and saw that the light had changed. I revved the engine a few times, watching them. They pulled away slowly, turning left. I shook my head and continued on.
“Super,” I spat.