The Adventures of Jemi Olsen
Cub reporter Jemi Olsen, grand-niece of Superman’s pal Jimmy Olsen, is covering a routine convention when a trio of meta-humans suddenly emerges from the time stream. When they vanish moments later, along with Jemi, will they take her on an excellent adventure or a bogus journey?
The Smallville Gazette wasn’t exactly big on the type of earth-shattering stories one usually saw in the big city newspapers, at least not in Jemi Olsen’s opinion, not that she was complaining — not exactly, at least. It was just that, for a girl who grew up hearing the stories her grand-uncle could tell, covering a tech-show in nearby Midvale — the humdrum town where she lived — paled in comparison. Here she stood, waiting in the lobby while her brother tried to find the men’s room. She sighed. The convention could have at least brought in the interesting companies, like TylerCo or Knight-Tech. Instead, there were a slew of P.C.s that looked to be virtual clones of each other. Exciting… really.
“Not too likely to be the most exciting point of my career,” she grumbled to herself. “And the punch tastes like they forgot to add the sugar.”
“Ms?” a floor person said who looked her way.
“Nothing,” said Jemi, smiling. “Just speaking a thought out loud.”
“Oh,” he said, smiling. “Well, you may be right about the punch. We were in quite a hurry to set up, and–”
The man was cut off by an odd crackling noise. Jemi realized that her hair was standing up on her head, like in science class when the teacher had her touch a generator. All of the computer screens went to flashing. What the heck?
Suddenly, the strange charge in the air seemed to collect into the center of the show floor. The lights all dimmed, and a ball of electrical energy seemed to form into distinct shapes.
“Oh, God, I hope this isn’t a super-villain attack! We don’t get those in Kansas!” screamed some passerby right Jemi’s ear. She tried to tell herself it was just the tension of the strange thing happening that made her want to deck him.
A hush fell on the room as the shapes became people. Jemi saw a girl who looked to be her age wearing a garish, skintight outfit, which was made all the more weird by a yellow triangle on the outfit’s torso that read Fair Play in stylized script. Why did that seem so familiar? Before Jemi could process it, there were the others — a boy who shone from head to toe like he was made of shiny gold, and a panther standing on two legs.
“Ohhh crud. Did weee overrr-shoot?” it spoke. And it had even managed to form its muzzle into a rather worried expression.
As one could guess, most people in the room lost their composure very quickly.
“Call the police! Hell, call somebody!”
People started running everywhere as the show’s security tried calm them down, call the authorities, and get a bearing on the bizarre intruders, all at the same time.
“Well, I don’t think this is the residence of the Monitor, do you?” Jemi heard the girl with the Fair Play triangle say to the man-panther.
That didn’t sound like your typical master-criminal thing to say, thought Jemi. She snuck as close as she could, though the fact that everyone else was running away from the three was making that difficult. Maybe they were a new hero team, or maybe this was all a prelude to vaporizing the room. Resolutely, Jemi made her way over, the phrase, This is either my first big scoop or the stupidest thing I’ve ever done, repeating over and over in her head.
The girl of the three lifted up a bronze-colored cube. One of the security people who managed to get past the panicking crowd lifted up his gun.
“Freeze now! Do not attempt to fire that device!” He was sweating, flushed, and his voice was cracking like a thirteen-year-old boy’s. The girl lifted an eyebrow, making Jemi think incongruously of Mr. Spock.
“I assure you, Officer, I mean to harm no one. I am truly sorry to have disturbed you.” The girl actually seemed sincere, more worried about the officer’s feelings than the fact he was brandishing a gun at her. “This is not a weapon,” she said, eying the cube. “Gernsback, initiate.” The cube came to life with a glow, and the crackling effect was back in the air. Panther-guy and the golden metallic guy moved closer to the Fair Play girl.
“Oh, God, they’re gonna kill us all!” shrieked the security man, turning and bolting at top-speed. Jemi paid him no mind, now utterly fascinated by the glow enveloping the three strangers. She was very close to them now, even feeling tendrils of the odd energy touching her.
“Who are yo–?” she started, but her voice was cut off as if she was on a radio that was suddenly unplugged. The glow vanished, along with the three strangers — and Jemi.
The room was empty and silent now, except for the hum of computers. A door opened, and into the main hall came young Jimmy Olsen, her twin brother.
“Jemi?” he called. “I couldn’t wait for the police, and the show people didn’t know where you were. Oh my gosh, Jemi?!” But no one was there to answer.
Jimmy Olsen, namesake of his famous grand-uncle, studied the videotape of his sister’s last known appearance. A cameraman had videotaped part of the show for Midvale’s local TV station, only to have it become a major news story about the mystery superhumans, and — the tape didn’t record for very long — the man had run off before Jemi’s fate could be seen. Jimmy sighed and rewound the tape again. If only the sound quality wasn’t so bad. He reached one of the few parts where bits of dialogue could be heard.
“–crud. Did we over–?”
“–I don’t think this is the residence of the Monitor, do you?”
The sole security person to confront the beings claimed that they had lifted a weapon of some sort, but that just didn’t fit. The girl was wearing a uniform that had struck Jimmy as being familiar, somehow, and then he found out why. The red and green bodysuit and the Fair Play insignia indicated that it was a streamlined version of a costume worn by the deceased JSA member known as Mister Terrific. That was hardly something a super-villain would choose, or would they?
Jimmy sighed again. His parents were inconsolable, and the authorities couldn’t help more than they already were. Mrs. Kent had said that Mr. Kent was on a trip of some sort, and that Clark Junior was gone ’til after the weekend. It was just too frustrating.
“Where are you, sis?!”