From the Mind of Mr. Zeus, part 18

File #: 2019Q2
Subject: new issue of quarterly ‘Official Mr. Zeus Fanclub Newsletter’
Purpose: readers’ enjoyment/entertainment and (occasionally) education
Author: Mr. Zeus (aka <name unknown>; formerly known as Jacob Szymanski, aka “Hacksaw Jack”)

“Jury Duty”

So,… I got called up for jury duty a little while ago. Before I go any further, let me say that I, like many I’ve talked to, have mixed feelings about jury duty. I greatly appreciate (for the most part, anyway) the legal system here in the United States. And I count it an honor and a privilege to be able to participate as a juror. That said, it can be a real pain in the butt. I have been called up three times before in my life. Once, I was excused, because I was working on an assignment for the federal government. The other two times — once when I was still wrestling and once during my full-time superheroing days — I showed up and went through the whole jury selection process, but neither time was I chosen to actually serve on a jury.

This time, I had no reason to be exempted, so I drove down to the county court house first thing in the morning. There had to be at least a hundred of us to start with. Then we were split up into groups and eventually called in to go through a voir dire. Somehow, I was actually accepted by both attorneys. (No one there knows who I really am — or, was — and my official job description these days is “independent security consultant”.) Long story short, it turned out to be an interesting case, and we wrapped it up in about 4 1/2 days. A very interesting and satisfying experience. Fortunately, I only had to reschedule a couple meetings — one with my agent and one with a client –, and they were very understanding, so it wasn’t a big deal.

“Witness for the Defense”

Of course, that may have been my first time impaneled on a jury, but it wasn’t my first time being involved in a court case. I have testified against supervillains and other criminals several times. I have even been the subject of an investigation or two — though, that’s a story for another day. But, one of the most interesting cases was one in which I was a witness for the defense. In other words, instead of the state calling me to testify against the accused, the defense attorney called me to testify on behalf of his client. In that case, he knew that I knew that the vigilante-type hero who had made the citizens arrest had used unnecessary force and violated the accused’s rights. Since I was an eyewitness to this, I had no choice, lest I perjure myself, but to answer the defense’s questions truthfully, and the defendant got off with basically a slap on the wrist and “time served”. The vigilante in question (whom I will not name) was furious and has never fully forgiven me, but it was still the lawful and honorable thing to do, and I have no regrets. (Besides, the feds caught the guy a few months later; he was convicted and is now serving 20 years.)

Oh. Here’s a bonus “courthouse” story for you. A few years back, I was late to a meeting with the state’s attorney. I finally got there, went through security, and was almost to the S.A.’s office, when I heard shots fired. People started screaming and running down the halls to find safety, but I ran back to the rotunda where the entrance guard desk and security scanners were. Managing to stay hidden behind a plant around the corner, I saw four guys with masks on, waving their guns around and occasionally firing a shot into the high-domed ceiling. But, I could tell they were serious, as they had already incapacitated the five security guards with gunshots to the legs and arms. The gunmen were sort of spread out by then, but as they yelled at their newly-acquired hostages, I formulated a quick plan.

Moving quickly I grabbed the big planter I was using as cover, stepped around, and threw it hard at the nearest gunman. He went down, unconscious. But, by then I was already flying — literally, though I don’t usually do so indoors — back down the corridor and up the stairs to a vantage point above them on the second floor. I grabbed an stapler from a nearby office and hurled it at Gunman #2, knocking his gun out of his hand and breaking his arm. As soon as he went down with a scream, I shot up into the air and angled down, sweeping the other two gunmen into my arms and tossed them into the nearby ladies room. (No one in there, fortunately.) One of them got a couple shots off as I followed them in, one ricocheted off a marble counter and grazed me but didn’t break the skin. The other shot missed entirely, likely because the shooter had blood in his eyes from a gash on his forehead. Anyway, I quickly knocked them out, then went back out to the rotunda and retrieved the guards’ cuffs, which I put on all four assailants. One of the guards was really bad off, so I flew him to the closest Emergency Room.

I never did find out what the gunmen wanted, until I read about their sentencing weeks later. More importantly, all five security guards fully recovered, and no one else was seriously hurt.

“Stalkery Redux”

I was out of town for a couple days last month, and when I got home, I realized that an item had been stolen from my back porch. It was a large, painted stone that Olympia had given me to celebrate our 6-month anniversary (luniversary?) together. Nothing expensive, but definitely of sentimental value, so I am saddened by its loss. My security system actually caught the thief on camera, but the person was wearing those Reflectacles eyewear, so their face was just a big glare. I’m pretty sure the thief was also that stalker I told you about, ‘cuz s/he left a note where the painted stone had been, saying, “Thanks for the beautiful gift! You mean so much to me, too!” 😮

That was the last push I needed to finally upgrade my home security system. (Seems appropriate for an “independent security consultant”, right?) I even asked Doc Matrix to install a few extra measures both in and around my property. I’d rather not reveal what it entails on a public forum, but it uses some of the same stuff the A.S.H.A. HQs use (though on a smaller scale), so it is quite impressive. If any alarms are tripped, it will notify me and the local police. If the A.I. component determines that a criminal/supervillain with extranormal abilities or tech is involved, it will also notify Bravado’s team in D/FW. Anyway, you get the idea. Whether in the house or away from home, I will sleep more soundly now, knowing that my home is secure from all but the most powerful threats.

And, speaking of being away from home…

“Press ‘Pause'”

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: I am going away for several months — probably 6 to 12, maybe more — on a “Top Secret” mission and will be incommunicado (look it up, kids!), so the newsletter will be on hiatus while I’m gone. Yes, the teen ‘Sherlock’ Sherwood project will still proceed, as I am trusting Phil Prendergast to write the story we’ve already discussed, and it’s still scheduled for a mid-2020 release. However, my other writing projects are on hold for the time being.

By the time you read this, I will have already been gone for a couple weeks. Obviously, I can’t say much now about where I’m going or what I’ll be doing, but it promises to be an exciting and adventure-filled (and, yes, dangerous) “mission”, and I hope to be able to help a lot of people. I’ll tell you all about it when I return, of course. Meanwhile, if you’re the praying type, I’d appreciate if you’d send up a couple for my safety and that of those I’ll be working with, as well as for the success of the mission. Thanks a lot!

Hasta luego, mis amigos. Stay strong!

* All ideas copyright Christopher Harris, 2013-2019.

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