This is a prologue to a story about a fifteen-year-old superhero.
I lay on the hard-packed earth, flat on my back, struggling to breathe. The impact that threw me to the ground left a dent in the dirt, and knocked the wind out of me. My lungs work furiously to regain air, and I shakily stand on my sore legs. Though my entire body was slammed into the earth from a considerable height, I am mostly unharmed. I look up at the reason for my troubles.
He looks down at me, growling. Two stories tall, the enormous metal beast sways his spiked club of a tail, all too eager to whack me with it again. I watch as he shifts his weight, feet lifting up and then pounding the ground. I can tell he’s a robot partly from the metallic armor that covers him, but one look at the lifeless red eyes confirms it. The vaguely tiger-like creature growls again, and despite the realistic sound, I can hear a hint of a recording-like buzz. The metal nose wrinkles, armored plates overlapping as it does so. He’s waiting for me to pounce again. I don’t want to let him down, do I?
I kick off from the ground, effortlessly shooting up into the air, rising far, far above the robotic beast. I relish the air flying past my face, ignoring the gravity screaming at me that what I’m doing is impossible. The sheer speed sends tingles up my spine and I feel a wide grin take over my face. Of course, what I’m doing - flying hundreds of feet in the air - is impossible. Because I’m not aided by a jetpack or fabricated wings. Unlike most people, I can fly just fine on my own.
Up in the air, I can fully see the damage the creature has wreaked. The small town is missing several buildings in one corner, the place where the robot first appeared. The path of destruction, rubble, wrecked homes, and buildings the robot left in its wake can easily be seen. The screams of frightened people can also clearly be heard from up here.
I summon a grimace, and can almost hear the angry energy crackling through me. Still hovering in the air, I turn upside down, my face and outstretched fist pointing directly at the tiny creature. For a moment, I think of how he resembles an odd housecat who has just destroyed a doll village. Then I hurtle earthwards. The ground grows before my eyes, the tiger-like robot’s red eyes widen. My fist crackles with fiery energy. I am diving, straight at the point between the creature’s eyes. Then fist hits face. The single impact results in a fiery explosion. The fire ripples through the sky, and disappears. And just like that, the robot is no more, his head gone and replaced by smoldering remains of wires and circuits. The rest of him falls to the ground, defeated. His defeat makes buildings quiver.
I sigh, then my face stretches into a wide grin, a result of my victory. My entire right arm is still crawling with fiery energy. I allow it to fade, then catch a reflection of myself in a cracked shop window. I smile at myself; though my helmet covers my eyes, it doesn’t hide the wide grin I can’t seem to suppress. My gaze flicks up to examine the helmet more closely. It’s a simple yellow thing, with a design similar to the one on my chest plate. A star. Not a five-pointed star, but a real star, one shining with fire, an ever-going explosion.
I glance at an odd, dated purple speeder next to me. A metal post jutting out of the engine ensures that the vehicle will never fly again. A sound causes me to look up from the wreck.
The civilians are running towards me, screaming their heads off with excitement, realizing it’s safe to come out from their hiding places. They are delighted to see that the creature that destroyed their homes is dead. Then men, women, and children are laughing, shouting my name as if it was the best thing in the world. Not my real name, of course. No one, not even I, knows what it is. Instead, they call me Nova.