Red Scope pointed his bar scanner at the building. The reader began to flash yellow lights. It beeped and whistled. “That's odd,” he said. “Is it malfunctioning?” He waved it at a no parking sign. It didn't respond. He passed it over a fire hydrant. There was no response from the reader. Red Scope pointed it at the building again. The yellow lights flashed, and the whistling returned. “How is it that an entire building can pop hot?” Red Scope lifted the reader box closer to his face to inspect it.
“What are you doing?” asked a scruffy voice from behind.
“Scanning for dimensional radiation. Either my equipment is failing, or this entire building is not of any particular dimension,” said Red Scope. “I just want to make sure my device isn't malfunctioning. It is manufactured from a hair dryer, a 1982 Plymouth Horizon, a roaster oven, and powered by a small piece of uranium 12. The probability of it malfunctioning is high enough to be a concern. There is only so much one can expect from a Plymouth Horizon.”
“An entire 1982 Plymouth Horizon?” asked the voice, shocked.
“Everything except the rear fender,” said Red Scope. “Couldn't find it on Ebay.”
“That's impossible,” said the voice.
“It is not impossible because Ant-man is very careless with his particles,” said Red Scope. He opened the back of his reader device. He fished out a small screwdriver from the pocket of his trench coat.
“Is it Sonic?” laughed the voice.
“Don't be silly. Sonic technology is not available here,” said Red Scope, missing the joke.
“Well, I doubt if your equipment is malfunctioning. I would say it is right on the money. Or radiation in your case,” said the voice.
Red Scope put the screwdriver back in his pocket and replaced the back panel. “Well, I will know for sure now.” He picked up the bar of the scanner and pointed it the building. The yellow lights flashed, and the whistle came out louder. He raised the reader to his face again. “It's not that large of an anomaly. Considering when I was back there,” started Red Scope, as he pointed the bar behind him. He fell silent as the reader began to squeal and flash red.
“That's not supposed to happen,” said Red Scope, shocked. He squinted at the reader. “It's off the scale.”
“What is off the scale?” asked the voice.
“My reading,” he said. Red Scope pointed the bar behind him again. The reader squealed and flashed. “This says there is a massive radiation anomaly behind me.” Red Scope turned around and looked at the man with the voice. “Oh! That makes total sense now. This must be Bleaker Street.”
“Yes, and you are pointing your scanner bar at the building I work in,” said the man in a red cloak.
Red Scope shrugged. “I wasn't paying attention.”
“You were just tracking anomalies,” said the man.
“Well, yeah. And I, wait a minute,” said Red Scope. He adjusted his goggles. “You are covered in, what is that? Fireflies?”
“Who are you?” asked the cloaked man. “Are you a scientist? A Doctor?”
“No, but I have always wanted to play one on TV. Look I even have a Doctor pose.” Red Scope pushed back his trench coat. He placed his hands on his hips and looked upwards.
“That is a terrible Doctor pose,” said the man shaking his head.
“Well you would know, wouldn't you. I am still working on it,” replied Red Scope defensively. “At least I am not walking around with all that radiation. You glow like decked out Raver in black lights. Why not carry a neon sign that reads, 'hit me, here I am.' It would be the same thing.” Red Scope adjusted his goggles again, flipping from one lens to another.
“What are you looking for?” asked the man.
“Whoa!” Red Scope looked away. “Wrong lens. By the way, you may or may not have a tapeworm. You should get checked out.”
“Is that the Eye of Ra on your goggles?” asked the man, suddenly.
“No, it is from a cousin who lost his glass eye in the war,” replied Red Scope quickly.
“Oh yeah? What's his name?”
“Odin,” said Red Scope. “Did you know that your cloak is always red?”
“Of course it is always red,” said the man.
“No, always. Like some fixed point in the multiverse continuum,” said Red Scope. He adjusted his goggles. The end of the cloak reached up and slapped Red Scope. “And identifies as a female. We should remember that.” Red Scope rubbed his cheek.
“Who are you?” demanded the man.
At that moment, a low flying airplane flew over the city. The sound reverberated off the buildings on the street. A school bus full of kids went down the street. One of the kids threw a paper out of the open window. A flock of pigeons was disturbed and set off into the sky. The man tried to talk again, but Red Scope stopped him.
“Shhh! I know this!” He looked around. “Shit, I hope I am not late!” Red Scope took off down the street.
The man in the cloak followed him. Red Scope turned right down another road, flew through an alleyway. Red Scope and the man came out on the main road. Red Scope hurried further down until he reached a small market. The cloaked man followed Red Scope as he beelined the vendors. Red Scope finally came to an older lady shifting through cucumbers at a vegetable stand.
Red Scope stopped next to her. She turned to him. “You don't need a cucumber, you need this,” he said. He handed the lady a peach. “Trust me.” Then, Red Scope turned away from the lady and walked back to the cloaked man.
“What are you doing?” demanded the cloaked man.
Red Scope held up his hand and shook his head. “Shh! Just watch.”
A man near the adjacent stall suddenly turned towards the lady. He grabbed her purse and made a run for it. The woman protested, then realized she had a peach in her hand. The woman pulled back her arm and threw the peach at the thief. She hit him directly in the back of the head. The thief fell forward to the ground. The lady walked over to the thief and retrieved her purse. She gave the thief a good kick. Then she turned and waved at Red Scope. “Thank you!” She yelled.
Red Scope pointed at her and winked. “You are Welcome!” Then, he turned around and began to walk away.
“Stop,” said the cloaked man. “What just happened? A peach? Who are you?”
“It had to be a peach,” said Red Scope. “I tried oranges six times, none of that worked. Apples just exploded into sauce on his head. And grapefruits, well, you don't want to know about the grapefruit.” Red Scope pointed at the vendor in the stall next to him. “Jack never recovered from the pear incident. Can't do that again.”
The cloaked man realized that the fruit stand, just before the vegetable stand had apples, oranges, grapefruits, pears, and peaches on display. “Yes but why? Why her? And how did you know?”
“It always goes like that. That man steals the woman's purse. That lady had her paycheck in it. If she doesn't have money from that check, she can't send fifty bucks to her son. Who is a college student at Kansas University, in Lawrence Kansas. If he doesn't get that money, he can't go for a coffee. If he can't go for a coffee, he can't be there to save Suzanne.” Red Scope tilted his head at the cloaked man. “And we all know about Suzanne. If she doesn't go back to work on Monday, Stark will be out of luck!” Red Scope turned and walked away.
The cloaked man ran after him. “Wait, who are you? And who is Suzanne?”
“Isn't it obvious?” asked Red Scope.
Red Scope shrugged. “I am a janitor. And Suzanne is the most important person in the Universe come Monday afternoon. I got things to do. So, I'll see you later okay?”
“No, stop!” yelled the man. He tried to go after Red Scope but was bumped by the crowd of people crossing the road. The cloaked man lost sight of Red Scope. The cloaked man cursed. Then, he stood alone in the crowd of people, sure that he could hear his cloak giggling.