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May 19, 2016

I want to write a story about superhero detectives who fight with food. I don't really have time for it, but I have some time to think about it, so I wrote a summary of the start of it.

The heroes are
  • Marinara Man, who has the power to turn into liquid. This includes the ability to temporarily transport other people, useful for emergency rescue during natural disasters. He can use it to become harder to hit during close combat, including becoming bulletproof, and he can turn one of his arms or legs to liquid while shooting it out of his hands. He is in his late 30s and a former civil engineer. He is methodical, resourceful, makes friends easily, and trusts to a fault.
  • Dough Woman. She is in her early 50s and a former accountant. She met Marinara Man during an organ smuggling investigation which ended in her jumping in front of a bullet to save someone else from her estranged son. She is direct, sometimes reckless, cynical, and introspective.
  • Mozzarella. She is a high school student with the ability to shoot cheese that is so sticky that nothing can possibly get unstuck from it, which works well for slowing fleeing suspects. She is enthusiastic, but she has a hard time striking the balance between taking on too much and giving up too easily.
The villains are
  • Spore Queen. She is involved in a scheme involving damaging buildings for a cut of the insurance money. Her parents were arsonists, and while at first she tried to distance herself from them by becoming a mycologist, when her magic mushroom business started to fail, she decided to turn to family habits in order to keep up "the lifestyle to which she had become accustomed".
  • Upper Crust and Pastamancer. They are a villain duo, one with the ability to turn people to solid bread by laying a hand on them and the other with the ability to control noodles, together known as the "Medusa of Memphis City". The serial killers cross paths and observe that their powers work well together as a team.
  • Upper Crust was an employee at a tech company whose workforce was in the middle of trying to form a union. When his boss quit and he got promoted, he decided to betray his co-workers and kill his best friend after a Pinkerton agent promised to clean up all the evidence. During the first murder, the body turned to solid bread. From then on, any time he started showing anger, like grabbing a cashier's arm while taking an order, he'd be able to turn that person into crusty bread.
  • Pastamancer was an accountant at a tax preparation company undergoing "downsizing", firing workers every Friday with a pizza party scheduled on the same day to try to distract from it. While out shopping for a gift at the mall, he runs into someone from work, who heavily implied he could keep his job if he agreed to fudge the numbers on the expense reports. While cooking pasta that night, the pasta starts to float, and he blames it on the crystals that he had bought. His boss makes him the fall guy for the state tax fraud investigation. That night, he attacks his boss with noodles which shoot from his hands, strangling him.
  • Governor Morris, who covers up the serial killings in exchange for the two companies becoming major donors to his campaign while falsely imprisoning two innocent people in their place. Twenty years prior, rich people in the world started to eat their weight in greed, but only in the form of pizza and pasta. Overnight, private islands became private Pompeiis as stomachs burst and people fled. They eventually realized that they could satiate their fascination long enough to live by redirecting the flood of research into curing genetic diseases toward research into research to gift people with pizza and pasta-related superpowers, usually allies likeminded in greed. He convinces Dough Woman to stay on the side of the law, as she sees it, by tracking down the supervillain vigilante known as Marinara Man, who staged a jailbreak, and his sidekick Mozzarella. He says that anything he has done cannot be helped, while imploring Dough Woman to work within the system to change it, while Marinara Man says she's the one being changed.
Part 1 (summary to be expanded):

A red stream of thick liquid flows from the bottom of a pile of rubble in a collapsing tunnel, while a thick white substance squeezes up through the cracks in the rocks. They reconstitute into a man and a woman who set off rescuing people who are stuck in the tunnel in crushed cars, then transforming back with them and handing them off to EMTs on the outside. One of the cars has an eight-year old in it and parents who are alive but unconscious, and the eight-year old recognizes them as Marinara Man and Dough Woman. Eight years later, they are licensed detectives, and today's a slow day. The girl from the flashback and her father walk into their office and asks them to track down her mom, who has suffered long-term brain damage from the concussion and has a Silver Alert out for her. They get into Marinara Man's vehicle and drive over to a craft store where the missing woman might be. The girl asks why Marinara Man became a detective.

He was thirteen, and there was a grease fire in his Section 8 apartment on one of the upper floors. Although the blaze seemed to be contained to only one or two apartments on the fourth floor, even after two hours, the crowd was not being allowed back into their apartments, because there could be a chance they missed something in the smoldering ruins that restarts the fire. Amidst the grumbling, the firefighters and police lecture them that they should have made arrangements by reserving room at a hotel, but no one there can afford that. The Red Cross arrives and hands out gift cards for a nearby hotel, but Marinara Man is worried about leaving the family dog, who never made it out after all that time. His family checks into the hotel anyway. They go down to fill up complementary bucket with hotel ice, and after a while the bucket is mostly water. Marinara Man suggests dumping the ice into a colander and putting it over the bucket, and his dad calls it his first invention. When they get back from the hotel, the family dog is missing, and returning back to the empty apartment, home doesn't feel like home anymore. They put up fliers, and Marinara Man resolves that no one should have to go through what he went through. The craft store tells them that the missing woman asked for directions to a store that sells miniatures and closed down a year ago.

On the way there, Marinara Man continues to explain that when he was nineteen, he was a volunteer firefighter. One day he was caught in a huge conflagration while he was on the fourth floor of the building, so he jumped, expecting to die, but instead he had transformed into marinara and left a splat on the concrete, and after transforming back, he was fine. Not only that, but he could flexibly let his finger and then his arm into marinara and watch the liquid fall to the ground, only for it to fall back up and reconstitute into flesh. Later, on his way to college -- he was a part-time college student with an engineering major -- he saw a man balancing on the railing above a highway. He slowed down, rolled down his window, and said, "Hey, get down from there", but he continued walking as if on a balance beam, leaning this way and that. Marinara Man steps out of his car and, as the man falls off the railing over the edge, jumps after him, and grabs his arm mid-fall. They both transform into marinara, and the puddle slithers away, strategically dodging oncoming vehicles, onto the side of the road, and transforms back. He says that he regretted what he did as soon as he did, but he just lost his job, can't pay rent, and times are hard right now. Marinara Man says "I know", not having the money or resources to help him, and they go their separate ways.

In the present, Marinara Man gets a tip from the reformed villain known as Meatball Blast, who is now a trucker, that he saw a car run off the road by the side of the Interstate. On the way there, they see someone trying to break into a mattress store. Marinara Man calls the police and tells Dough Woman to get over there in his place. They find the car, and the girl's mom is conscious but still alive. After the EMTs arrive, the father and daughter thank Marinara Man and get into the front of the ambulance. Marinara Man starts driving back to his office.

Meanwhile, Dough Woman is standing at the far corner of the mattress store by its dumpster, peers around the corner, and approaches the glass door. There's a woman inside dressed in a dark green hoodie with matching cargo pants, wearing a mask and spraying all the walls, covered in a green fuzz, and the glass door is cloudy with it. As she starts to exit out the back, Dough Woman tells her to stop, flashes her detective's badge, and tells her that she's under arrest. The building starts to lose its integrity and the roof caves in. As the suspect starts to run, Dough Woman turns her arm to dough and fires off a lob of dough at her, but she misses. Mushrooms sprout up in front of her, and she dodges them by weaving between them like any other obstacle, until one sprouts up from underneath her and she jumps off the cap. She fires off another lob of dough at the suspect's legs, who trips. The suspect turns the hose on Dough Woman, who tries turning to dough again, but instead her dough arm starts to flake and falls off. The suspect scrapes the dough off her leg, gets up, and runs away. Dough Woman runs after her, but she runs out of breath and collapses.

galenanorth fucked around with this message at 20:00 on Mar 23, 2021


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