Wendy groaned as she took her jacket off, the motion pulling on the muscles in her back, still bruised from the encounter earlier that day with the mad Doctor Brannigan's horde of rampaging Kill-Bots. She was looking forward to a well-deserved warm bath and an evening of quiet - everyone else in the building was away at a week long camping trip, trying to convince Pip's father that he had lots of friends and was successful at ... something. Wendy hadn't been paying much attention when he had been stumbling around the apartment complex in complete histrionics.
Which was why she was so upset when that was the precise moment she heard the distinctive worbling of her Middlewatch. Wendy sighed and activated the watch to see the face of her employer.
"I don't suppose you were just calling to wish me a happy Freedom Day, boss?" Wendy pleaded hopefully.
"Sorry about this, Dubbie, but we've got a Yeti loose downtown. If we can't corral it soon, we'll be hip deep in a coronation in Arendelle before dawn. I'll meet you outside your apartment in three minutes."
Wendy sighed again, and began pulling her jacket back on. "I'll be right down."
The Middleman nodded and the display cut out, as did her hopes for a chance to relax.
There were many things she loved about her job, Wendy reflected, as the Middlemobile tore across the city to where an abominable snow man was turning the Industrial District into his own personal snow globe. The chance to travel the world, meet exciting people and aliens, the never ending inspiration for her art, and the training in any skill conceivable were all great perks. The one downside was that she was always on call, always had to be ready for another emergency. And while the adventures that she had were always exciting, after a year and a half of non-stop apocalypses and doomsdays just barely prevented, it was starting to wear on her.
Based on the increasingly whiteout conditions around them, they were rapidly drawing near to where the yeti was currently amok.
"I think we'll have to go the rest of the way on foot, Dubbie," the Middleman said, "we're losing traction on the tires and it will be better for the element of surprise if we are not traveling in a vehicle. You circle around to the right, and I'll continue on straight ahead; we should reach it in two or three blocks."
Wendy nodded her head, before responding out loud, since the parka she was wearing muffled the movement to incomprehensibility. She then checked the charge on her gun and started walking in the direction of the yeti.
Wendy came around the corner of the latest block, and quickly ducked back behind it. The yeti was standing just a hundred feet or so away from the edge of the building. She brought her arm up to her face to glance at the positioning data on her watch, and saw that she had somehow gotten ahead of her boss by a whole block. Before she could open her communications to him however, the storm suddenly picked up in intensity, and she realized that she would have to make a move on her own, since time had become a factor. Slipping back around the corner, she charged as fast and as stealthily as she could towards the yeti, trying to eke out as much distance as she could before it noticed her. She was impressed that she had made it all the way to the creature without being detected, when suddenly it turned rapidly and backhanded her several feet. She landed hard against a building, and fell to the ground in pain. The yeti slowly walked towards her, but she managed to get her pistol up and aimed at it while it was still several body lengths away, however it again moved faster than she would have expected something of its size to be able to, and the glowing bolt only nicked its shoulder. It began closing in on her again, but right when she began to get nervous, it reeled forward from an impact from behind, collapsing to the the ground next to her, with the Middleman standing where it had only moments ago.
"Thanks for the save, boss," she said as she reached a hand up, which he pulled to help get her on her feet. "So does this mean we can call it a night?"
The Middleman shook his head, and pointed at the yeti. "Unfortunately, our night is just continuing, Dubbie. Look at that chip on the yeti's neck. It's a tracking chip, like scientists use to tag wildlife to follow their movements."
"So this yeti didn't just wander into downtown by accident, someone sent it here."
"Indeed, Dubbie," the Middleman stated, killing any last hope Wendy had of an early night.
They had to have Ida scan the B.E.N.D.E.R. (Biological Entrapment Networking Detection and Encoding Router) to backtrace who had been monitoring the tag in the yeti's neck, but they finally traced it to a warehouse a few hours later, shortly before dawn was breaking. The blizzard that the yeti had created had maintained strength throughout the night, but hadn't expanded to cover the rest of the city, so there was minimal snow fall when they arrived.
This time, the two agents of order and sanity were able to infiltrate the compound without detection, and came upon an elderly man, bald with coke bottle glasses and a lab coat, in front of a massive monitor displaying weather data for the tri state area. It seemed that the internal tally Wendy had been keeping of magic versus science based chicanery would once again swing towards the mad scientists.
"Any explanation for why you unleashed a wild yeti upon downtown, mister?" the Middleman demanded.
"It's Doctor, not mister! My plan was sheer elegance in its simplicity. After the local television station fired me in favor of a new, younger and more attractive weatherman, I hunted down a rare Tritonian yeti that I had run into in my youth, and brought it to the city. It would alter the weather patterns around the city, creating an unpredictable storm that the new weatherman would fail to predict, and they would be forced to rehire me as their meteorologist, since I would be the only one who correctly predicted the storm!"
Wendy blinked in surprise. That was a surprisingly coherent and low scale plan for someone that they had been tasked with stopping the nefarious workings of. It didn't however, change how fiercely she incapacitated the doctor and dismantled his equipment.
"Any idea where we can take one slightly irradiated, lukewarm yeti to live in peace?" Wendy asked the Middleman, as they headed back out to the car from a building that had until recently housed a mad scientist.
"Their natural habitat is in the mountains of Tibet. I know a relatively deserted range we can drop this one off in," he responded.
"Relatively?" Wendy raised her eyebrow. "Shouldn't we be looking for complete desertion?"
"The only people living on this particular mountain is an observatory full of Buddhist monks, searching for God among the stars. They should be fine, and if the worst comes to pass, I'm sure no one will miss them." The Middleman turned to her with that sentence still hanging over her, and then began to speak again. "Now that the crisis has passed however, I feel that there is a more urgent matter for us to discuss. While your decision to charge the yeti without backup could have been the right call, given the increasing danger it was posing, your sloppy execution of basic combat awareness means that it was a reckless decision, which is certainly unlike you. What's the matter, Wendy?"
Wendy debated for a moment whether to come clean with him, before deciding that she couldn't something this important from her partner. "I've just been tired lately, is all," she finally said, staring at the horizon, with the still dissipating storm system. "It seems like even though we save the world every ten minutes, it's just getting endangered again right afterwards. We never seem to have any downtime, and it's getting to me."
The Middleman stared into the distance, pondering his words for a moment before focusing back on her. "While it is true that we have had a nigh-unending stream of villains bent on taking over or destroying the world, but what is important is to take positives away from the work that we do, not negatives. I focus on the changes that we make in the world, the lives that we have saved and improved. If you focus on what we have accomplished and created, I am sure you will find that the experiences we have gone through are much less wearying."
Wendy thought about what he said for several minutes, as the sky gradually changed from grey to blue.