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Attack of Dumbotron

by on August 27, 2014

Everything hurt. He felt as if he had just been stepped on by a giant robot elephant. This was not a random metaphor; the captain had actually just been stepped on by a giant robot elephant. Its hashtag was already trending on Twitter. Most people were referring to the thing as Dumbotron, though there was a sizable number calling for Elephantzilla. The captain didn’t much care what they called it. He just had to take it down.

He staggered upright, glass crinkling under his boots. The robot elephant had proceeded further down the street, its mighty footsteps shaking the buildings it passed. He saw a soccer ball orbiting bravely around the monster, peppering it with small laser blasts. That would be Super Soccer Mom, he knew. That soccer ball was all she had left; she had used her exploding ones in the morning’s battle. All they had to show for it was a fair-sized dent on Dumbotron’s left side. The thing still kept going. The captain had spent fully an hour whaling away at it with his super-strength, and it still kept going. How did one stop an invincible robot elephant?

At that moment, a young woman in a red uniform ran to his side. “Hey, Dad,” she said, gasping from the run, “are you okay?”

“Fine, Meg,” he assured her. “A mere robotic elephant can’t defeat the forces of justice!”

“You’re doing your superhero voice again, Dad,” Meg Atomic observed. “And it’s just me. Everyone else has been evacuated.”

“Right, of course. Can you stop this thing?”

Meg shrugged. “I could try. Atomic blasts are easy. With the size of it, though, I’d have to go thermonuclear. I don’t imagine there’d be much left of the city after that.”

“Then,” said the captain, “we’ll just have to do it the old-fashioned way.”  He launched off into the air and soared off out after the elephant, his flight path only wobbling an instant. Meg saw that instant, though, and she wondered. Could the captain stand up to an all-out slugging match with the robot elephant? She would’ve thought so that morning. Now, however…. the monster had survived fifteen of her mother’s exploding soccer balls, for heaven’s sake. Even if the captain could put it down eventually, it would probably rampage across half the city by then. She had to find a way to stop it before then. Meg calculated probabilities, but every plan she devised ended badly.

In the distance, she saw her father slam into the elephant again with a mighty punch that nearly staggered it. Nearly, but not quite. It immediately let loose a shock blast from its metal trunk that sent the captain careening off into the suburbs. He would be back in moments, but in the meantime, what was she to do?  At that moment, barely audible above the din of battle, her phone chirped. “Yes, this is Meg, I’m really busy right now, so can you….. oh, hey, Andy. Yes, I had a really great time too. Sure, we could meet again. The coffee shop works. Friday at seven? Great. See you then. By the way, random question, you wouldn’t happen to have a super ability, would you?  Real-ly. Are you free right now?”

The captain came back, aiming for yet another blow straight in Dumbotron’s dented left side. Everything still hurt, and he knew he was going to ache all over the next morning. If there was a next morning. He steeled himself for impact as he barreled in. Then, suddenly, the elephant wasn’t there anymore. The captain pulled himself sharply up, narrowly avoiding a collision with a warehouse on the opposite side of the street. He looked left, and right: no elephant. He glanced up, and saw a tiny metal gleam disappearing in the sky. “What in the name of great justice?” he exclaimed.

Then he saw Meg, waving, with an unfamiliar young man standing next to her. “Dad? she said, as he landed on the street before her. “Meet Andy. Andy Whitmore. I met him last week. Nice guy. Also, he can alter the forces of gravity.”

“Captain, sir, it’s a great honor, sir,” stammered Andy.

“Mr. Whitmore,” the captain rumbled. Meg hadn’t dated before. Robot elephants were one thing. One’s atomically gifted super-daughter dating was something else entirely.

“Dad,” Meg said, rolling her eyes, “try not to use your captain voice on my dates. We talked about that.”

And so, the day was saved once again.



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  1. Awesome! Like the Incredibles, but these powers are more fun. I really like Meg! The robot elephant was perfect, too!

    • Thanks! I didn’t mention, as it didn’t fit the vibe of the story, but the captain’s official name is Captain Happily Married. Meg is his oldest.

      • Wait wait wait wait….. is this another series?? :DDD

      • Not so much another series as it’s characters I’ve already done. There’s been a few posts here and there with CHM and Super Soccer Mom, and then for 2012’s NaNoWriMo challenge I wrote a novel about them, “Nuclear Family”, which is on Amazon. I have another series in mind potentially, but occasionally I like to pop in on my superhero characters. 🙂

      • You sir, make me happy. Might take a look at it, after I finish the billion books (feels like that many anyways) that I gotta read for school. Anyway, this was really entertaining. I love the way you write. I wish I was that funny… ^_^

      • Oh, do I know the feeling of putting off fun reading for school reading. Happily, I have a real-world job now and have graduated, so, no more school reading! Yay!

  2. This was just “SUPER”.

    • I’m glad you liked it. I’m a huge fan of the superhero genre, as you can see.

  3. One can only imagine what Sunday dinner is like in that family! Enjoyable reading.

  4. What is it with dads and their daughters’ dates? Great use of the prompts!

    • I saw a movie once, “My Date with the President’s Daughter.” As in, the President of the United States. It was fairly amusing. Poor guy was given the address, 1600 Pennsylvania, rolled up, and realized what house it was. hilarious.

  5. Highly entertaining. I loved the humour of the piece and I’m an absolute sucker for superheroes 🙂

  6. What a wonderful story to wake up to. A great way to start the day, and I mean it. Like your style.

  7. “It’s hashtag was already trending on Twitter.” Hahahah!

  8. I just watched Winter Soldier last night, but it ain’t got nothin on Dumbotron 🙂

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