The secretary peered at the documents in front of her over her tacky, sequin spangled specs, an overly plucked eyebrow raised in ill-disguised contempt. The resume was filled in entirely in wax crayon, several different colours of it to be exact, each one snaking into each other and making the entire thing almost eligible. Who was this joker? He either had a very poor sense of humor or was thicker than a concussed troll. Sigh. It was only eleven o'clock in the morning. It was evidently going to be one of those days…
"I'm afraid I can't accept this, Sir," she said in a horribly nasal voice, the sort that kind of makes you want to rip out your intestines and shove them into your ears just to block out the sound. "You need to put your birth name in the 'Name' box. I'm pretty sure 'Captin Hamur' isn't it." The man in front of her smiled dimly at her. Yep, he was one of those people.
"I think you'll find it is." he said, giving the woman a 'winning' smile. Wasn't so winning with several teeth missing and breath bad enough to sedate a bull elephant. "What other kind of name could someone as awesome as me have?"
"You've put your previous occupation as 'saving peple in danjur'…"
The woman shuffled through the rest of the man's papers, each one getting progressively less intelligent. His DOB was down as 31st of February for God's sake! And as for Qualifications…she was pretty sure that 'being rely, rely strong' wasn't on any employer's list. She gathered up each sheet in her clawed hands and thrust them back at the moron in front of her. She should have been better prepared. After all, her fortune cookie had said 'You will come across a great challenge on Monday'.
"Great!" said the man, clapping his gloved hands together, (he was wearing yellow washing-up gloves to an interview?) "When do I start?"
The secretary let out another bored sigh.
"You don't. You don't meet any of the requirements for the jobs you've applied for. Sorry. Try somewhere else." The man's face scrunched up in confusion. Five minutes later, he'd processed what she'd said.
"Wait, so you're not gonna give me a job?"
Oh my…the secretary paused for a moment, comprising a list of reasons why not to give this man a job. Deciding it would take too many long to give him all of those some 189,960,227 reasons, she settled on the easiest, and possibly the biggest, one of all:
"A dead slug has more functioning brain cells than you. Not even the food chain Cluck Bucket will take you; they have a minimum IQ requirement of 6."
Captain Hammer slumped out of the Job Centre, feeling dejected. This was the forth time he'd been told that there were no jobs for him in the entire of Los Angeles. It was impossible; how could there not be any jobs for someone with such perfectly chiseled features? Or such bouncy, wafty hair? True, he wasn't as well groomed as usual; some nasty men called Reepos or something had gone into his Command Centre and had taken everything in it: the Ham-Jet, the Hammer Cycle, even his fluffy bunny rabbit, Rex. They had also gotten the idea that Hammer didn't want his Centre anymore, and had put it up for sale. When he had gone over to tell them that it was all a big mistake, they laughed at him, and said something about rent? He thought they were on about the musical.
His psychiatrist had also dropped him, ranting on and on about wanting to be paid or something. At least he'd managed to stop bursting int to tears randomly now, although, sometimes, when he was alone on a bench at night, he would cry to himself. Who would have thought pain would be so…painful? He absently picked at a hole in his Hammer Tee. You know who's fault this was? Horrible's. That swotty, snot-nosed meany was the one to blame for all of this. Before HE had come along, Captain Hammer had been fine not being able to multiply numbers by anything other than one, or being able to read...stuff. He'd had his strength, and that had been enough. But nowadays, he could hardly lift a car.
Now he sort of wished he'd got past third grade...
He shuffled round the corner of the street, head bowed. People on the pavement leapt aside and gave him a wide berth. Nobody called his name, no one ran up to him asking for his autograph (although he didn't mind that too much, because it meant a lot of writing). It had only been a month since THAT day, and already the people had forgotten all about their best protector; Captain Hammer, the Doer of Good, the Stopper of Evil. He collapsed on a bench and dissolved in to klaxon-like sobs. The world was so unfair! How did he deserve this, how had he ended sat on a bench like one of those non-special people, when just a month ago he had been the greatest, goodist man on Earth? He had been expecting a Nobel Prize in Awesomeness any day, the mayor had just dedicated some building to him for all his good work! He was a super hero, a globally recognised star, better than everyone else in this city, in America, probably even all of the other nine continents of the world. He bet that there were people in mud huts somewhere bowing down to a newspaper cutting of him, calling him their God!
He wiped his nose noisily on the back of his glove. These gloves weren't nearly as comfy as his old ones. The evil Doctor had nicked those when he'd been on the floor, crying. What a way to kick a man when he's down! Just another reason to hate that Dr Horrible. One day, he was going to make him pay for everything evil he'd ever done. One day, he was going to make Horrible buy him a new pair of gloves, and one day-
Hammer froze, mid thought. Someone was sat next to him, he was sure of it- he could hear all the little ins and outs as they breathed. Slowly, Hammer turned to face his bench buddy. No. It couldn't be...but there was no mistaking that mess of blonde hair, those blue eyes, such shortness and those muscles that were smaller than a deflated balloon. For who knows how long, he had been sat next to his arch nemesis. The weird thing was though, he wasn't dressed in his usual lab coat. He was wearing jeans and a hoodie, and was staring intently at the grubby building across the street called The Caring Hands Homeless Shelter. Whatever that was.
In one not-so-fluid movement, Hammer got to his feet, puffed out his chest, and faced his enemy.
The Doctor glanced up at Hammer for only a moment, quickly taking in the unshaven, matted and soup stained form of Captain Hammer, before returning his gaze to the old building. Nothing. He felt absolutely nothing, not even the smallest amount of glee rose inside of him at the sorry state of his arch nemesis. He really ought to be doing some kind of dance, celebrating the downfall of Hammer. But he couldn't even bring himself to grin. Maybe Moist was right; maybe there was something wrong with him...maybe he should go see a doctor? A lot of good that would do though. He saw, out of the corner of his eye, the bedraggled Hammer brandishing his fist at him.
"What evil plot are you plotting now Dr Horrible, hmm? A bank heist? Kidnap?" Hammer's voice rose to a shout. "Well, never fear, citizens of Los Angeles, Captain Hammer is hear to save you all from the dastardly plots of Horrible!"
Dr Horrible snorted at Hammer's stupidity. Could that guy be any more of a douche? A couple of people across the road were shooting Hammer furtive glances, clearly under the impression that he was some kind of nut-job. Well, they weren't far wrong.
"I'm not plotting anything." he sighed, not tearing his gaze away from the homeless shelter. "Now, please do me a favor; go away and take a shower, because you stink." What he wouldn't give for a few moments of peace and quiet. He rubbed his brow, trying to numb the constant headache he'd had for about a month. He was up to his eyeballs in aspirin, but nothing seemed to be working. It was giving him creativity block, too; he hadn't had an evil outing in weeks.
"Did Dora the Explorer write that insult for you?" Hammer chuckled at what he mistakenly thought was a witty and hilarious comeback. "It takes more than hurtful words to defeat Captain Hammer. Insults won't stop ME from pounding you into the dust."
"It wasn't an insult," breathed Horrible, rolling his eyes at the ex-super hero. "You really do reek worse than Fresh Kills Garbage Dump." Dr Horrible edged away from the lunatic, partly because of the stench, and partly because he didn't want anyone to think that he was associated with such a person. He withdrew a folded photograph from within his inner jacket pocket. He handled it carefully, cautious not to tear the corners of it as he opened it. The subject of the photo was a red-haired girl, very pretty, reading a book and apparently unaware that she was being photographed. She was sat on the same bench as Horrible was now; the corner of the homeless shelter was just visible. The evil genius stared almost hungrily at the picture, drinking up almost everything in it. Every now and then, his head would snap up towards the street, as though expecting someone to materialize there. Beside him, Captain Hammer was continuing to declare his awesomeness, and plot many ways of defeating the man beside him, to nobody in particular.
"-and I'll throw you clean across the state of Alabama, because I can do that sort of thing, because I'm so strong!" he hollered, "I 'll pound your face into mince and feed you to all the hungry dogs in the city and then people will worship me as their hero again, and to top it all off, I'll make sure that you pay for each of your evil deeds by-" he stopped, frowning at Dr Horrible, who seemed to be paying no attention whatsoever to his speech. What was the point of threatening someone if they weren't going to listen to you?
"It's rude to ignore people, ya know!" said Captain Hammer huffily, folding his arms in a sulk. It was then that he noticed the picture clasped in the man's hands. He craned over Horrible's shoulder (which really didn't take much doing) to get a better look at it. The girl in it looked vaguely familiar. What was her name? Jenny? He was pretty sure that he'd Hammered her at one point or another. He wasn't surprised he couldn't remember her too well; so many women wanted a piece of the Tool...
"Look," muttered Horrible without turning around, making Hammer jump backwards in fright. "I'm really not up to anything, so can you go find some other poor geezer to annoy?"
"No Freeze Rays?"
"You know those never work."
"No super-strength formulas?"
"After last time?" Horrible shook his head in disbelief. "Do you really think I want to end up with your mind again?"
"A Death Ray?"
"Callous murder isn't really my thing."
"So you really AREN'T planing any scheming...schemes?" his eyebrows jumped into across his hair line in shock.
"Well done. We've got there eventually."
"So, if you're not doing evil stuff, then why are you here?"
That caught the Doctor by surprise.
"I'm..." he trailed off, thinking hard. The truth was, he didn't know what he was doing there anymore than Hammer did.