Watched Iron Man 3 last night. Besides the idea that watching a man iron is sort-of irresistible to me, it was a pretty good movie.
Except for one detail.
The first time he has a “panic attack” I thought he was acting, to get the annoying kid to shut up. I was cheering for him, thinking, “yay! What an idea!” The second time he has a panic attack, I realized he was not kidding. He had a genuine, PTSD, panic attack. A panic attack in a superhero movie. Uh, huh.
So I was going to offer my opinion on how the movies have changed to appeal to viewers who see themselves reflected in the hero only if he has a psychological condition.
But somehow I don’t think my opinion is really in demand today. So instead here’s a story post (that features a person with fear of heights).
(From: “The Assassin”)
“Come, little luv. It’s time.”
Paean shot Federi a desperate glance.
“The alternative,” said the gypsy rationally, “is that Federi goes alone, and you stay here and return with Little John to the base.” That was in fact a brilliant plan. She’d be safe; her as yet innocent soul wouldn’t have to be corrupted with assassinations, and Federi wouldn’t have to look after an inexperienced newcomer on this critical mission!
Her frightened blue eyes wiped all of that out. “Federi…”
He dug a small light-pod out of his parka pocket, clicked it on and set it down on the bomb bay’s floor so he could see what he was doing. He strapped a parachute onto his back and zipped his parka closed. And then he put his Antarctic neolaminene gloves back on. She had never taken hers off yet.
“Don’t send me back,” she begged.
Federi’s eyes narrowed. “What are you afraid of, little luv? The dark?”
“Scared you won’t come back,” said Paean, tears brimming. “Federi…”
Rats. Of course he was not coming back! Should he tell her to give him two months and if he hadn’t returned by then, assume he were dead? So she could carry on with her life? It was what he ought to do, anna bottle…
Her little brother was in a coma. Her older brother had turned his back on her. Her mother was dead and the father non-existent. This was a shay without a familia! And her foster father had thrown her to the dogs. What was there for her to return to? He was all she had now! Federi cursed softly.
“If you come with me, I’ll turn you into a killer,” he warned.
“I know.” She glanced down through the opening hatch, clinging onto the empty bomb fastening hooks inside the cargo bay, and naked horror ran up and down her spine. It was a long way down. “Why Haiti?”
“Where would you start?”
“Manhattan! The President!”
“Why would you want to take out the President?” asked Federi quizzically.
She was puzzled. “No?”
“No! ’s a good president! Personable, has a good smile, well-spoken… does as he’s told… we’ll keep him, what do you say?”
“Don’t want a dictatorship, see,” added Federi seriously. “Need the President! Still has to be a democracy! The People voted for him!”
“Are you two ready, Federi?” came Little John’s voice over the com.
“One second, John,” replied Federi. The hatch closed again. The Stealth circled indecisively.
The Romany gazed at Paean, imprinting her freckled face in his mind. Rats, she was making this difficult! “Be sensible, little songbird. You’ll be safe at the base!”
She shook her head, eyes desperate. Federi took his headset off and placed it on the floor of the bomb bay. He strapped on goggles and pulled his parka’s hood over his head.
“Don’t leave me behind, Federi! Please!”
“Then come!” Federi strapped the second parachute securely onto her back. It would just have to go the way it wanted to go.
“Have you ever done this before?” asked Paean as she watched him check all the straps of her parachute.
“If it doesn’t work we’ll just have to try again!”
“If we get separated, meet me at the police station,” said the gypsy. Paean gasped.
“The police station!”
He gently took her headset off her and fastened pilot’s goggles over her eyes. And placed the parachute’s chord into her gloved hand. His hand failed to release hers as it clasped that chord.
“John,” Federi shouted into his wrist-com, “we’re ready.”
“Read you.” The Stealth circled and came back over Haiti. The hatch started opening again.
“Last chance,” said Federi. “Want to go home instead?”
Paean vehemently shook her head.
“Remember we’re immortal,” said Federi. “And no screaming! Stealth -!”
He clasped her tightly with both arms and pulled her off the plane.
Paean clung to him in terror. Long moments passed as the wind whistled past their ears and froze their faces. Federi pulled her opening line for her. The parachute opened with a jerk. Federi lost his grip and slipped away and plummeted down, away from her. She screamed…
And then his parachute opened too, spreading out below. Paean held onto her lines, panting, trying to get her racing heart under control. The barely visible outline of her friend’s parachute drifted like a faint rectangular blob in the darkness, brushed by the rays of the half moon. She couldn’t remember a thing he had told her about steering; right now hers was basically going forward and down. The wind was – exquisite, actually, if she could stop this feeling of terror!
Be calm, she heard his stern instruction in her mind. Nothing can happen. We are fine.
It was almost like flying. Federi was right. She had no fear of heights! She gazed down at the amazing lights, the white trails of breakers heading for the Haitian beach…
The closer that beach got, the more worried she became. They were coming down with such speed! She followed all the instructions Federi had given her. She had no fear of heights; she had a terror of the landing…
Shawney’s fall from the rigging flashed before her mind’s eye. So they were going to die the same way… She bit her lip, white with fear. And then she crashed down in a crumpled heap, the parachute folding over her. She lay there breathing, merely being alive. Immortal. Like a roach.
- Series: The Solar Wind, Book 2
“Remember who you are!”
Two data capsules tell an evil story. Both the Unicate and the Rebellion want those capsules – but they are in the possession of Radomir Lascek of the Solar Wind. Hunted by both these forces, Lascek scrambles to keep his Solar Wind alive. But things explode in his face, and he is forced to move. Shattered, Lascek launches his own Master Plan – too early.