A Part-Time Job

John's stomach rumbled, and he sighed wearily. What a miserable day, he thought as he trudged down the street. His boss declined to give him a raise, Jerry from Accounting had stolen his pen, and to top it all off, he'd left his lunch at home!

Looking up from his feet, John's eyes met a Dad's sign. Well... maybe a little comfort food wouldn't hurt. He pushed open the door to find himself staring at a bright pink monster, wearing the standard Dad's uniform.

Salutations!" the monster grinned, her eyes glinting from beneath the brim of her bright blue hat. "Welcome to Father's Burgers! May I be taking your order?"

John froze.

"Sir or madam?" the monster urged a little. "Your order please!"

There was a monster. One of the alien ones he'd seen on TV. Working at the register. 

"Sir or madam!" she repeated. "My name is Portja, and I am happy to do the serving for you today, but you must be stepping up to the counter!"

His eyes darting around the room, trying to see if he was about to get ambushed by little green men, John cautiously crept up to the counter. He kept his eyes trained away from the alien. Maybe if he ignored her, she would just go away. 

"I'll have a chee--"

John stopped himself. He was so nervous, his voice was breaking. The alien - Portja, he supposed - excitedly looked at the menu, before frowning. 

"I am sorry, sir or madam, but I am not seeing chee anywhere on this menu..."

"W-what do you want!?" John blurted out, his nerves getting the better of him. "A-are you gonna probe me!?"

"...Is this an invitation?" Portja wondered, tilting her head.

"N-no!" he responded hurriedly. "I... I mean, what are you doing in a Dad's Burger Joint?"

"Oh!" the alien beamed, her eyes lighting up once more. "I am participating in the Earthican economy!"

"...The what?"

"This is my job part of the time!"

"...Are you telling me that you... a Martian..."


"Thorathian... got hired by a burger joint to work the till?"

"Exactly this!" Portja grinned again. "My manager overlord Mr. Stevens told me that as the best of all customers, I was to start today!"


"Oh, dear! Sir or madam, you still must place your order!"

"Coffee... and keep it coming. It's been a weird day..."

"Manager overlord". :D Why don't posts have a voting system? This needs all the votes.

Oh, this is brilliant.

As an aside, has anyone else watched the "Kirkwall Coffee" series on Youtube?  It's effectively, "What if Merrill from Dragon Age II opened a coffee shop?"  Same appeal and just as ludicrous.

I approve of this.

A Part-Time Job, Chapter 2: Close Encounters of the Awkward Kind

Portja sighed wistfully as she drummed her fingers idly on the counter. It had now been two hours without a customer, and she was bored out of her mind. She'd already spent a solid hour making sure her pronunciation of every menu item was correct, half an hour reviewing her employee handbook, and twenty-five minutes checking the news on the TV in the corner in the vain hope that there was a crisis she could go help out with. The last five minutes leading up to this point were spent staring at her fingers with a glazed expression. 

When a customer finally entered about ten minutes after that, looking down at her phone, the Thorathian couldn't even muster the enthusiasm to look up at them.

"Salutations, welcome to Father's Burgers," she droned lifelessly. May I be taking your order?"

"Yes, I'll have a small -- YOU!"

The outburst startled Portja back into awareness. She looked up to see Tantrum, glaring at her with an expression of pure hatred.

"Evil little girl!" she gasped, taken aback. "Have you come here to take my hardly-earned money!?"

"I am NOT a little girl!" Tantrum growled in response, the phone in her hand crumbling under the pressure of the force field around it. "I am a SUPERVILLAIN! And YOU'RE that useless do-gooder who flicked me last month!"

"Hey, you cannot hold the grudge for that!" Portja protested. "I broke the finger of mine when I did this!"

"That's not the point!" the supervillain retorted. "You ruined my credibility!"

"...You had credibility?"

This was the breaking point for Tantrum. With a howl of rage, she pressed her hands into the counter, denting it inwards. Portja quickly raised her fists, ready to fight, when her train of thought was interrupted by another shout.

"What in the name of Adam B. Rebottaro is going on around here!?"

The store's manager, Mr. Stevens, had left his office, and was now staring down the two with disapproval.

"M-Manager overlord Mr. Stevens!" Portja stammered, dropping her hands.

"'Manager overlord'?" Tantrum repeated. "Seriously?"

"I let you out of my sight for five minutes, Portja," Mr. Stevens frowned, "and I find you fighting with a customer!"

"B-but I... she was...!" the Thorathian tried to explain. "Evil! Fighting for justice!"

"Bus-teeeeed!" Tantrum cackled with glee.

"As for you, Ma'am," Mr. Stevens added, turning to the diminuative supervillain, "if you wanna come in here and antagonise my employee, I'll have to ask you to leave the premises! Now I'm got some work to do, so you're both off the hook for now, but if I hear one more bit of fighting, I'll be VERY annoyed! Got it?"

Both the hero and villain were stunned into silence.

"...Good!" With that final remark, the manager stepped back into his office, slamming the door. For what felt like an eternity, everything was quiet.

"...That guy's your boss, huh?" Tantrum finally spoke up.

"Yes," Portja replied, almost seeming shell-shocked. "He is very... bossy."

"...Two small burgers. One for me, one for you."

"Really!?" Portja's eyes lit up. "Oh, thank you very much!"

"But if anyone hears I did this for you?" Tantrum quickly added. "I'll break your face in. Deal?"


This is fantastic!  I love how everything is "sir or madam."  Does Portja have trouble telling the difference?  (If anything, I'd think Tempest would have a harder time with that.)  Or does she just think that's exactly what you need to say to be polite?  Either way, it's funny.


It's because the employee handbook says, "Always call the customer sir or madam".

Gotta love that exclamation of "Adam B. Rebottaro!"

A cute story so far, can't wait to see more. :)

"Have you come here to take my hardly-earned money!?"

This is the best. :D

A Part-Time Job, Chapter 3: A Friendly Face

Portja pouted a little, once again bored out of her mind. She'd ended up getting the night shift. At first, she thought it might be more interesting; after all, you would get a totally different type of customer at night than during the day, and any new experience of Earth culture was a good one! But it so happened that this different type of customer boiled down to "barely anybody", and so the store was practically deserted, much to her chagrin.

When the automatic door's dinging alerted her that someone had arrived at long last, she quickly stood to attention with a practiced smile - however, this instantly gave way to a real one when she recognised the sleep-deprived redhead before her. 

"Paige!" Portja beamed, almost leaping over the counter to hug the Scot. "Are you okay? Do you have hunger? We have food! I can get some of the food for you! Oh, I missed you!"

K.N.Y.F.E. hadn't been seen on earth since that monster the media called 'Progeny' had left the planet. As far as anyone knew, Paige had chased the thing's head into space, but she hadn't been responding to anyone's signals. She rubbed her eyes, clearly exhausted. 

"W-wee lass?" she murmured. "Wha're ye... wait, wha're ye doin' here...?"

"I have to be here, for it is my job!"

"Your... job...?" Paige repeated. She mulled on this for a while, before bursting into uproarious laughter. "Y-ye work at a, a Dad's friggin' Burgers! Bwahahaha! Haha! Ah... Get us a coffee, luv, an' come sit a while. Got a lot ta tell ye 'bout."

It didn't take long to make a coffee. Convincing Mr. Stevens to let her take a break took a bit longer. By the time Portja finally managed to sit at a table with Paige, the Scot had drained her cup and was more awake. 

"So what've ye been up to, other'n sellin' yourself out ta corporations, eh?" the redhead joked, grinning like a maniac. "C'mon, what've I missed?"

"Well, aside from the new job, um..." Portja gave it some thought. Tempest had been a racist jerk, Kaargra Warfang had kidnapped her again, and she had to visit Dok'Thorath again...

"Not much," she finally lied. Paige could tell from her quiet expression that she wasn't being entirely honest, but decided not to press on it. 

"Listen, Porty..." she smiled, "...I really missed ye n'all, ye know? An' sure's hell all I feel like doin' right now is sittin' 'ere an' chattin' till we both go deaf. But truth is, even though'm only 'ere by dumb friggin' luck, I've got a job for ye. An' this'n doesn't make ye wear a stupid blue hat."

"...You have the peak of my interest?" Sky-Scraper pressed. 

"Tell me..." K.N.Y.F.E. smirked, "how d'ye like ta teach those F.I.L.T.E.R. bastards a lesson?"

I love this story so much. Delightful!

(As a side note, Adam's middle initial is "T.", but don't worry about that for the purposes of the story. Just putting the info out there.)

Keep up the great work!

Tell him he needs to change it to B. It just rolls off the tongue better.

Wow, I really appreciate the kind words, Christopher. Genuinely, thank you. 

I'm still working out where I can take the story from here, to be honest, but when I do, I'll keep going.

It took a long while to work out what dumb thing Portja would buy with her new income. I think I picked the best choice.

EDIT: It, uh... turns out I've been spelling Maia's name wrong since I first started playing the game.


A Part-Time Job, Chapter 4: Revelations

Portja shivered as Maia stared into her soul. She may not be a criminal, but it isn't just criminals who can't help but be intimidated by the trademark Wraith Glare. For whatever reason, Maia had been walking past her room in Freedom Tower, and had suddenly stopped to shoot daggers at the Thorathian. She forced a smile as best she could, hoping it would in some way placate Maia.

"H-hello, Miss Montgomery!" Portja tried to reply convincingly. "Is this not a l-lovely weather we have been having lately?"

Maia didn't reply. If Portja looked close enough, she could barely see her eyes subtly shifting to take in everything the room had to offer. 'Why did she stop?' the Thorathian was screaming in her head. 'What did I do wrong?' When Maia finally raised a hand, she shrieked and instantly shrank to about four feet, as if to duck out of Maia's view.

"What..." Maia asked in a deadly serious tone, completely unfazed by Portja's flinching, "...is that?"

Looking up from her shaking fear, Portja followed Maia's finger to find it pointing at...

"It is... my lava lamp?" the Thorathian squeaked in reply.

"...Your lava lamp," Maia repeated, almost as if she didn't believe it.

"Yes!" Portja hastily responded. "It is a lamp of lava! But it is not really lava it is only oil and not dangerous please do not shoot a razor of ordnance at me!"

"...Where did you get a lava lamp from?" the Wraith probed. "Your monthly budget hasn't had any funds allocated for personal use since you came home with that Tolls-Joyce."

"I... I..." Portja tried to respond.

"I understand if you get excited about Earth culture, Portja," the vigilante continued, "but you've been warned about misusing the Freedom Five bank account before. If you bought this lava lamp with the team card, I'm going to have to reduce your funds more."


"You what?"

"I used my own moneys!" Portja squealed. "The moneys I have been earning at my job part of the time!" This stunned the Wraith into silence.

"...You have a part-time job?" she finally asked. "...Where?"

"D-Dad's Burgers..." the Thorathian explained. "I am... the tiller... It is my moneys...!"

Maia raised an eyebrow. Portja couldn't tell if it was out of interest or exasperation.

"...That pays minimum wage, yes?"

"That is right..."

"Not anymore, it doesn't," Maia proclaimed. "I own a controlling portion of the Dad's brand. Expect a raise within the month."

Portja looked up slowly, her eyes glistening in adoration.


"Really," Maia confirmed. She turned to leave, before stopping briefly. "But only if you never buy a lava lamp again. The seventies are long since gone." With that, she walked off down the hallway.

Portja was relieved she had left, but only slightly. She glanced over at her cupboard as the door opened slightly, and winced as one of the fifty lava lamps she had bought before getting the job at Dad's tumbled out.

'Please do not let budgeting day be soon.'

Dammit, this series is great. XD

A Part-Time Job, Chapter 5: End of an Era

"...Portja," Mr. Stevens frowned from his office. "I need to see you."

The Thorathian gulped. This was never a good sign. She slowly flipped around the "back in five minutes" sign to head into the meticulous workspace of her manager. He sighed from behind his desk.

"Please, take a seat," he offered. "I want to let you know that this isn't personal."

"Personal...?" Portja repeated, confused. She didn't take her seat. "What is it?"

"Well..." Mr. Stevens began, clearly a little hesitant. "The truth is, Portja, Dad's hasn't been doing too well recently. As a result, we've been given instructions from higher-up to... lay off a few employees in the register sector."

"No...!" Portja gasped, finally catching on. "Manager overlord Mr. Stevens, please do not tell me --"

"I'm sorry, Portja," the manager cut her off, gazing at her sympathetically. "You're being let go." 

For Portja, those words hit her as hard as any supervillain had. Well, except maybe for that time when Greazer had shot her point-blank with his Impact Neutraliser, but this was a very close second. She sank into the chair Mr. Stevens had offered her, her eyes welling with tears. 

"Let... go...?" she asked, her lip quivering. She was very clearly trying not to cry. Mr. Stevens nodded.

"You take a lot of days off for your superheroics," he explained, "to the point that out of all of my employees, you've missed the most work. I appreciate that you have an important reason for skipping, but my regulations say that I have to prioritise the employees who aren't here as often." He waved his hands apologetically. "That isn't to say you don't do a good job - you're definitely more enthusiastic than most of the part-timers I get. If I could keep you, I swear I would. But... rules are rules, I'm afraid."

By this point, the Thorathian was now openly crying. Mr. Stevens quietly stood, walked around his desk, and began patting her on the back soothingly.

"We'll all miss you, Portja," he sighed. "You've got one week left. Make the most of it."

The week passed uneventfully, which wasn't fair in Portja's eyes. The last ever week of her first Earth job should have had more... ceremony to it. She should have seen Tantrum again, or Paige, or Biomancer should have attacked, or something. But the week was just... boring. Finally, the last day came. For the last time, the alien took off her bright blue cap, sighing wistfully.

"Portja," Mr. Stevens called to her awkwardly. He was clearly trying to be emotionless and stoic, but only barely succeeding. "I got you a going-away present. Here." He passed her a small keyring, words embossed on it.


A sniffle and a hug later, Portja left her store.


The end of everything was here. OblivAeon had descended to the surface of the planet, and was unceasingly leveling Megalopolis, building by building. 

Sky-Scraper double-checked her size devices. Luminary had mostly set them up, but she had figured they needed recalibrating before she took the fight to the being of pure malice that now stood over her adopted home. Just as she was about to leave her house - or rather, Paige's house, but it's a long story - for what could be the last time, she paused.

Hanging on the coathook in the entrance was a keychain.


With a small smile, Sky-Scraper tucked it into her uniform before she stepped outside and charged into battle.

The End

How dare you D:

I'm sorry, Take, but I couldn't think of how to keep going, so I thought it would be best to just let it end. Hopefully on enough of a tear-jerky note that people would be happy it existed at all.

If you can think of extra stories to go in the middle - midsodes, I guess - I'd be happy to add them. 


I was more griping about making me feel things ;_;