Another prompt, this time from Dede and Kid and Pal over at the carrot ranch.
One hundred years after the final battle for control of the galaxy, the last remaining superhero had bowed to the inevitability of waning powers, changing tastes in graphic fiction and a congenital allergy to stretchy fabrics that triggered a series of unfeasibly large testicular goitres. He had subjected himself to gene modification transitioning into a hobbit-like cave dweller. Now the evidence of those epics battles – the increasingly large stage sets, the ubiquity of green screens and CGI beauty parlours popping up in every high street and mall – had almost all gone.
Thor’s hammer was a rather challenging roundabout on the A472 outside of Cirencester. Captain America’s shield formed the centrepiece of a somewhat tawdry water feature that visitors barely noticed as they passed the site of Magnetron’s final demise (marked by a two mile scar in the landscape and a tendency amongst boys born within a ten mile radius to effect an involuntary hair toss). David Banner’s underpants, so often shredded on transition to Hulk, were sold in small strips by the few remaining aficionados as modern day quasi religious relics. The only item that had retained any lasting affection was Wonder-woman’s tiara which had become invested with a mystical propensity to stop mansplaining.
These days, it was left to the archaeologists to try and uncover any remaining signs of the presence of the once ubiquitous superheroes. One group of determined detectorists had identified a site worthy their attentions. It didn’t take long for the first bespoke metal detector to beep manically. The team set to, digging carefully, their excitement growing. Finally one voice, at once reverent but also fearful spoke. ‘Is that Ironman’s mask?’
Before anyone could reply the eyes lit. ‘Mask? It’s more than a mask, puny person. It is I, Ironman, back from cryogenic preservation to save you from the barbarian hoards. I am…’
His next words were drowned out as, first one and then all of the diggers frantically shovelled the earth back into the pit. It took little time as they worked feverishly not stopping until the turf was in place and the site levelled.
For a while, no one knew quite what to say. Finally one querulous voice broke the silence. ‘Ironman? What a pillock?’
The accompanying nods were both sage and relieved.
‘Pub?’ Said another.
‘Too right,’ added a third.
‘Bit close that time,’ came another.
‘Maybe we should stick to Sudoku.’