(Apologies for the delay...last week just kind of disappeared on me. 57-hour, six-day workweeks will do that to you...)
In my dream, I felt just like I did when it all happened. The excitement, the exhilaration...fear kind of got mixed in there, too, because I knew it wasn't a game--the guys I was fighting had real guns and they were really trying to hurt me. Maybe even kill me. But the feeling that surged through me that first time was confidence. I was out there, fighting bad guys with my brand-new superpowers, and I realized right away that I had a knack for it. As soon as I put on that costume, I knew I could do this.
Of course, in my dream, the costume was Buffy the Vampire Slayer's cheerleading outfit from Sunnydale High. But in my dream, that made perfect sense.
I caught up with my very first bad guys outside of a chemical supply warehouse in downtown Cleveland. They weren't hard to spot, really; they'd landed in a giant airship that looked like what you might get if a vulture and a helicopter had ugly little babies, marched out, and shot the security guards with stun cannons. Half the group was holding the police at bay, and the other half was looting the warehouse. And me? I was running there at a good sixty mile-an-hour clip. (I think if I get another growth spurt, I might be able to do ninety, but right now my legs just aren't long enough.)
(I also think that I didn't really have blue sparks shooting out from under my feet whenever I took a turn, but I did in the dream. And it was awesome!)
I heard about it from my dad. Not that he had connections in the law enforcement community or anything; he just was on the phone to the warehouse placing an order when it all happened. I was in the lab for a check-up; he does monthly check-ups with me ever since he gave me the serum, about nine months ago. (It's weird, the way so many things started happening "about nine months ago"...that was when my dad cracked the cure for my chronic fatigue syndrome, that was when Captain Light made his first appearance, that was when Shining Dragon Fist left her monastery...I'm not a big believer in "fate" or anything, but nine months ago was like a sort of starter's gun to the new crazy world we live in.)
Oh, and nine months ago was when Lord Raptor's men began stealing stuff. Big, bold, crazy robberies, done from VTOL airships in a pattern that nobody seemed to be able to spot. They must have been around before then, of course; you don't assemble that kind of manpower and equipment and a gigantic hidden fortress from which you plan to hold the world's capitals hostage all overnight. (Ooh, spoilers!) But nine months ago was when they went public.
And eight months ago, they robbed a warehouse in Cleveland and I heard my dad talking about it on the phone, telling his friends to stay hidden and let the bad guys take whatever they wanted. And I thought about my costume, hidden in my room, and about the news stories I'd been reading about the mystery flying man in Chicago who fought crime...and I knew what I was going to do. I ran back home, changed into costume, and sprinted for the warehouse.
Along the way, I stopped for a few minutes at the local library to learn kung fu.
And when I got to the warehouse, I put it into practice. It was incredible. The bad guys looked like they were moving in slow motion. I could actually see the energy blasts coming out of the cannon, and I could even dodge them. I hit one guy with a sweep kick, popped back up while he was still mid-fall, and elbowed him in the chest before he hit the ground. Their body armor stopped some of it, of course, but I was actually kicking butt! Me, a sixteen year-old girl who used to have a permanent excuse letter from gym class, beating up genuine evil mercenaries with guns!
Liam Neeson didn't really tell me what a good job I was doing, though. That was just in the dream again. (It was Liam Neeson from 'Batman Begins', by the way, not Liam Neeson from 'Phantom Menace' or Liam Neeson from 'Krull' or Liam Neeson from 'Darkman'. Although weirdly enough, later in the dream it was Liam Neeson from 'Clash of the Titans'.)
The problem was, there were a lot of them and they'd already gotten most of what they were after by the time I got there. Their leader--he had red shoulderpads--gave the order to evacuate, and a few guys stayed behind to keep me busy while their ship took off. I kind of made the guys regret their career choice, though.
In real life, lots more stuff happened after that. But in the dream, it only took about five minutes before I fought Lord Raptor's men again...
TO BE CONTINUED...