Story by Iced Borscht/Artwork by Ricky Sprague, 2010
PORTLAND, ORE. — It was a cheery autumn day in Portland, Oregon. Quinton Dean, award-winning local journalist, gamboled happily through Portland’s vibrant downtown. He looked at his under-employed city and nodded approvingly.
“Who needs a robust economy — or even a functioning one — in a city so livable?”
A riderless Max Train sped by. Dean stood with pride at the train’s empty-yet-sparkling clean transit nook.
“Progress,” he cooed.
Smiles rippled through his underpants. Then something went astir. A blonde hair fell from the sky.
Somehow, it seemed…odd…
Dean sniffed the gold strand with his news-seeking nostrils.
“…there’s something familiar about this…”
Dean’s head started to ache. He grew dizzy and confused; he looked at a billboard of local insurance débutante Mariko Locke to shake him from his sudden stupor. Who better to pull him from the void than the Empress of Indemnity, after all?