Hey ya’ll! An officially overtired Psycat here with an update from the very wet city of Houston. Sometimes I wonder why I type these up before I go to bed instead of after I get up, but then I remember that I’m shit at getting ready in the late morning. My night cat tendencies are probably why I work as a pizza driver and not some office job. That, and I’ve gotten used to doing light checks on the neighborhoods in my delivery area. I swear, if I had a dime for every fat joke and call out or fashion sense post that one reporter that keeps a running blog about my patrols throws out there, I’d be able to pay the rent without having to dip into my tips. Let’s see him try to hand make several cheongsam blouses after your first and overall favorite one gets ripped to smithereens by The Mist’s ice shards with bandages on his hands.
Ah, but ya’ll don’t want to hear my complaining about Nick Meyer, one of Houston’s more “reputable” superhero bloggers that occasionally gets his pieces mentioned on the local news. Ya’ll probably want the low down on the Hurricane Hugh (currently called Hurricane Spew by Marcus and I) and the efforts of the local and out of town heroes to help those effected by the floods and damage. Lemme tell ya, it is still an ongoing effort, and a big one at that. Everyone, from more famous heroes to the little guy, to even some villains on probation, have been helping out with this disaster.
Now, in case you aren’t in the US or have been without internet/media for the past few weeks, Hurricane Hugh was a slow moving tropical storm when it went over the Yucatan. It almost fizzled, but got over the Gulf and rapidly intensified to be a category four hurricane. There’s only five categories on the scale. The last category 5 to hit the Gulf Coast was Rita back in 2005. With Hugh, it sat out over the water for a few days and then slammed into Rockport like that damn Nazi who slammed into protesters a month or so ago. Then it proceeded to sit on its ass and weaken to a tropical storm, but dump nearly three feet worth of rainfall on the Houston metroplex. It took its time, going back out to the Gulf, and is now tormenting East Texas and Louisiana as a tropical depression.
As a Houstonian, hurricanes and tropical storms are nothing new. I was a teenager when Allison blew through here and I barely had a chance to breathe from the Hippo incident that tore up I45 before Ike blew in. Bast knows that I tried to keep looters down in my area, but I wasn’t confident in switching gears to search and rescue. I’d only ever dealt with bad guys and sniffing out a few plots at that point, so I kept a low profile and did volunteer work on a few days off for that storm. When Hugh threatened to Zora scootch through here, I kept an eye on the weather reports and did my usual business until work got flooded in the early morning hours of Sunday. Thank gods the owner has flood insurance since the building is within the 500 year floodplain, and knows that our city makes a ruler look lumpy. I’d probably be out of a job if he didn’t.
So, what did I do with the time I usually reserve for work? When the water took out work, I knew I needed to hightail it out of my apartment complex for Marcus’ place. His house sits on higher ground than where I live, so I got a few things, Ibet in her carrier, and took my way of earning a living and crashed there. With some of my stuff and kitty secure, I took initiative (and a custom made poncho) to do patrol and assess the damage.
The first neighborhood I flew to was already underwater. I could barely see the edges of the roofs of the one story houses there. The news had said that the Coast Guard wasn’t flying because of the rain still falling. I can tell you that most of our city’s heroes care little and less about the rain, and those that do typically run support in times like this. I think I was the first one on the scene, since most of the efforts had been concentrated around the bayous at that point.
I was going down low to the water to call out to survivors when I heard a coach’s whistle crack the air with its shrill noise to my left. Shrouded behind a grand oak tree was a couple on their roof, soaked to the bone. I picked up speed and did a sharp bank to get to them, but got branch slapped in the face. Shows me for showing off.
“Are ya’ll ok?” I asked after spitting out very woody leaves.
“We were until this morning,” the man in a Rice University T-shirt said. “The water came up so suddenly, it was all we could do to get up here with a small bag.”
I noticed a hole in the roof off to my right. His wife held a backpack and fanny pack against her legs.
“Alright, I’m gonna get you two out of here,” I said. “It’ll be a little more unconventional than the Cajun Navy coming in, but it’s something.” I pulled a length of the high tensile cable out from its winch on the Psydisk and did my best impression of a foothold knot from my time in Girl Scouts. I checked it to make sure it would hold before lowering it down. “I can only hold one at a time. Who wants to go first?”
“Is there no way we can ride up with you?” The wife asked.
“Not safely,” I said. “The deck’s slick and I don’t want ya’ll to get injured by the ankhs or get your feet too close to the emitter. Plus I may need to bank and I don’t want ya’ll falling.”
The couple considered this for a moment before the wife volunteered to go first.
“How do I…?”
“Just slip a foot into the loop and hold onto the cable as best you can. The cable can hold a good half ton on its own, and the winch and mount are rated for about the same.”
“What about the contraption?” The man asked. “Will it hold?”
I smiled wearily. “The Psydisk can hold me and another six hundred pounds. I’ve hauled many less savory people with this rig, but this will be a first for rescues. Shouldn’t be too much different, save the knot.”
The woman stepped into the loop and grabbed some slack. “Ready!”
I nodded. “I’ll be back for you after I drop her off,” I said and raised the Psydisk to where the line was taut and off the roof. I got up high enough that the power lines wouldn’t bother her and slowly proceeded away from the Addicks reservoir. It took a few minutes, but I spotted a non-flooded area as we cruised down the stream that was Highway 6. I dropped her off there and got her husband to the Chase before annoying one of the cops at the street blockade to get them to a shelter.
He begrudgingly called in the transport for them. “You know, it’s only because of the flooding stretching our manpower so thin that I won’t arrest your butt this time,” He said.
“Hey, we all gotta do our part,” I said. “Houston’s home, and it isn’t my fault that the federal government screwed up in their dealing with supers.”
The officer shook his head. “I don’t make the laws, I just enforce them. Now get out of here before the transport shows.”
I obliged him and got back to searching the neighborhood.
After a few more rescues like that, I was beat. There had to be some quicker way of getting evacuees to staging points. I posted to the Confessions chat (yes, we have a little chatroom and no, I will not add anyone that I don’t personally know in there) asking for help in the rescue effort before laying down for a nap. Ibet joined me, and lulled me into a very deep sleep I hadn’t had in ages.
That was shot to shit when I rolled over to see Senet-Ra standing over me.
“What the?!” I bolted upright.
“I was wondering when you’d get your butt up,” She said, tail flicking lazily.
“You sleep more soundly than my mom.”
Ibet jumped off the bed. “I don’t normally get sleep that good nowadays. What are you doing here?”
“Your post on the group chat ring a bell? Seriously, your one of Bast’s chosen and you can’t remember that?”
I reached for my glasses. “Sorry, my memory is foggy when I first wake up.”
Senet gave me an endearing look and patted my shoulder before heading out the door. “Come on, Edfu is waiting in the living room.”
I grouchily meandered to the couch and saw Marcus playing a game of checkers with a hawk on the coffee table. The laptop I brought was set aside on an edge of the sectional, still whirring in sleep mode. I plopped near it and took in the almost humorous sight of Edfu trying to move a piece with his beak.
“King me,” He said after placing the piece down with his too deep for his body voice.
“That’s not even a legal move!” Marcus contested. “You jumped an empty space to get there!”
“Well, that rulebook you showed me is confusing with all its logic jumps. I much prefer this move.”
Marcus covered his face in his hands and sighed. “Try to teach a bird to play games…”
I set the laptop on my lap and woke it up. There was a few messages from Senet-Ra and a surprising one from The Herald. It seemed as if Marcus got the details settled while I was asleep. I closed the lid once more as Senet sat down.
“So, when did ya’ll get in?”
“About an hour ago,” Senet-Ra said. “Edfu wouldn’t let me ignore the chat after I finished my homework, so we hopped the last flight to Dallas and drove the rest of the way.”
“That city is damn confusing by car,” Edfu said. “Even Cairo is better.”
I snorted. “You’re not the only one who thinks that. Did Anicat contact ya’ll?”
Senet shook her head. “Kinsuke wasn’t responding.”
“Figures, with how bouncy she is.”
“Lapis and Ami aren’t able to come,” Marcus said. “It’s too sudden of a shift for them, and Binara’s off world.”
“That’s Lady Binara to you, human,” Edfu said and picked a better move.
Marcus gave him an annoyed look. “I don’t normally deal with faerie nobility, so besa mi cola, bird breath.”
“Watch it, I saw the remnants of a burrito on the counter earlier,” I said with a smirk.
Senet chuckled. “I guess we’ll see Herald coming in soon, but do we want to wait for her and possibly Kinsuke, since she’s likely to tag along, or do we want to get the operation started?”
I stretched. “I think we should hop on it, if ya’ll are ready.”
“Quite,” Edfu said.
“Where should we star–” Marcus’ stomach interrupted Senet.
“Hey, it’s not like I’ve been waiting for Psycat to get up for dinner…”
The awkward silence stretched for several minutes.
“I could use some hunting time, unless you have some meat that agrees with my stomach in the cooling box?” Edfu said.
Several smiles were exchanged, and I got up to start dinner.
(To be continued!)