Liz: Hero's Mindset

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Written by Dethnus on 15 Sep 2017 01:28.

Classes, as expected, were easy. This was the first semester of Liz’s third year, so she wasn’t expecting anything too difficult. Usually, the first year is the worst and it gradually got better. At least, that’s what my old roommate, Lindsey, said. So far she wasn’t wrong. I had even got some sleep in my second class. I wouldn’t have dared to in Professor Den’s class. The guy’s stare could curdle milk.
I packed my backpack from my last elective and started to head out, telling a girl named Carol bye. We had just met, but she was a nice enough girl. Bubbly and hyper, kind of like I could be with a few drinks. Though, there was a good reason I didn’t drink. A very good reason.
So, with Monday and Friday being my short days and most of my friends – barring Jenna – being busy, I could be Gravity Girl. Kieran didn’t seem to care enough to pay attention to when I came and went, not that I cared, so I didn’t think there was anything to worry about. I would have to call George later and see if there was anything I could do. Flying around would be fun at least.
I yawned. Well, nap first. I checked the time. Just after 1, huh? I could do an hour nap. Oh, and I need groceries… Damn. That was a decent walk.
Just ahead of me, I saw Kieran walking my way. From how he was glancing at the paper in his hand, then looking around, I guessed he was on his way to another class. Physics and Chemistry classes were generally all held in the Superior building, so no surprise seeing him here, I guess.
What was odd, though, was what he looked like. I had only known the jerk for a few days, but I knew he liked to put on an appearance. Nice clean clothes, clean shaven, and all that jazz. But right now, he wore a hoodie, t-shirt, and jeans that looked a bit ragged with a five o’ clock shadow and his hair messed up. And… was that a bandage on his head?
My usual list of sarcastic remarks disappeared. Damn, I hate being the hero sometimes.
“Kieran!” I called, getting his attention – and his annoyed look. “What happened to you? Looks like someone put you through hell and back.”
His condescending grin came back. “Ah, so you do care.”
I frowned. “You might be an ass, but I don’t want you getting banged up. I still need the rent paid.”
Kieran laughed. “I can handle anything that comes my way. Even your tough girl act.”
It would be so easy to launch him into the air. Even if he landed in the water, the impact would… No, you’re the hero, Liz. He’s just another normal guy. “No one can handle me, kid,” I said, then started to walk past him.
As I did, he moved on as well. “Whatever you want to believe.”
I sighed. Sheesh. Was I really starting to feel sorry for the guy? I mean, what kind of monster would hurt Kieran like that? I know he was hard to deal with, but still.
Questions for later. Sleep and groceries now.

  • * *

After some much-needed sleep and shopping for groceries – which wasn’t really much, just some instant meals and breakfast stuff for the week – I went on patrol. With Machinas in jail and crime still on the lower end of the spectrum, it was more of just relaxing as I fell through the air.
My first stop was at the police station, to talk with George. And maybe find out who Machinas was.
The place was busy as usual. With heroes with powers on the rise in the last few decades, I wasn’t given as much attention as the regular people would give me. I kind of liked the attention, but no complaining! Heroes weren’t fame-seekers. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have this costume.
“Hey, you here to see Detective Scott?” the large man – Hank – asked me from behind his desk.
“That and I want to see who Machinas was. Didn’t get a chance to get his face before I left last time.” I paused for a moment. I still needed to find those other devices, though I had a feeling it was a bluff.
Hank gave me a look I didn’t like. “You had best see Scott about that. Might be better if he explains.”
Oh God… I knew what was coming. I’ve read enough comics to know.
I was with George ten minutes later getting the news. Machinas was a younger boy with no ID in the database and they hadn’t gotten anything to figure his identity out. Not to mention someone swiped all the recordings that had his face. And then he was released after being charged with disturbing the peace. Disturbing the peace!
“Please tell me all this is a joke.”
George sighed and leaned back in his chair. We were in the interrogation room for privacy. “The law student he got knew all the loopholes. I tried to do my best, but you and I both know I’m not the best at this. Hell, give me a gun and a perp over all this questioning any day. I only got this position because of you.”
I changed my gravity and sat on the ceiling. It was somehow comforting. “So he’s still at large. Don’t you guys have a sketch artist?”
George nodded. “Problem is he has no unique features. No scars, no tattoos, no nothing. Looks too plain to get a good one. And there must be a million kids who look like the sketch we got. We put it out and the phones will go crazy.”
“Any luck on finding the devices?”
“Not yet. I think he was bluffing, too.”
“Me too.” I thought for a bit. “Maybe I can draw him out with his own device.”

Next Chapter: Keiran: Bully by Jsimmons17

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