This is chapter two of a story about a teenage superhero.
I let a wide grin take over my face. The robot creature I’ve just destroyed has, in dying, allowed an entire town to breathe again. The children jumping up and down all around me can attest to that.
I look around at the town, and feel my smile falter. Speeders and other broken vehicles lay in smoldering, twisted heaps. The smoke from their crushed engines billows up in filthy black clouds, partially obscuring the rest of the wreckage. The buildings, some reduced to rubble, others only missing a few floors, will take the townspeople months to repair. Half the civilians will have to live in hotels or shiver in tents while their homes are being put back together, brick by brick.
I smile again. I can help with that. I stoop down and press my palm into the dusty ground. Rubble begins to rise, swirl in midair. The mess of glass and metal next to me fuses back into a shop’s front display. The city hall reforms itself before my very eyes. So does a motel to my right. A home to my left.
Standing up, I walk through the streets, allowing the forces emanating from my very hands to repair the damage done by the ravaging metal creature. I take the time to put every building, fence, and tree back together. As I do, the ugly scars in the pavement, the slashes on lawns, disappear. Everything is exactly the same as before the attack. The same force that holds the universe together flows through my hands, from them. I stop when I reach the hole where the creature first appeared. An enormous dent in the earth, with a ring of broken pavement around it. From the look of it, this robot came from the sky, landing with an impact, like an asteroid. I repair this, too, concealing the crater with pavement.
With nothing left to reassemble, I take off into the air again. Cries of thanks and appreciation follow me as I tear through the sky, the wind whipping my face. The small town underneath me shrinks as I make my way toward the horizon. I look down and watch the landscape morph under me. Wandering on the lush green plains below me is a herd of palarki, large herbivores prized for their meat. It’s not long before the grassy plains turn to forests. Soon those forests turn to rocky mountains. It’s cloudy here, I notice, with a smattering of rain. Then I hear thunder, and I wince. This high in the air, every sound the clouds make is magnified tenfold. Thunder is a pain to hear, and lightning can blind eyes. It’s quite dangerous up here, as I’m much more liable to get struck by lightning. It’s a risk I’m willing to take.
My mind wanders back to the issue of the robotic creature I’ve just fought. Never seen anything like him. There was also no reason for him to be there, in the small town Gyner. There isn’t anything unique or valuable about Gyner unless you like living in the middle of nowhere. So unnecessary and strange for it to be attacked out of the blue. Either it was a freak accident or some radical bent on destroying a peaceful town. I blink and wipe rain out of my eyes. Yes, it’s more likely this was planned by some deranged criminal. Ironically, this makes me smile. Robots, flying, battles, crazy criminals...welcome to my world.
I still don’t know everything, though. I run through a mental list of some of the most likely candidates for the cause of the robot’s attack, but no one stands out. And who knows if whoever it is might be planning another attack? But I can’t really answer any of my own questions until I reach my destination. A loud booming sound makes my ears hurt, and the icy rain intensifies, starting to soak through my suit. Add my full head to the equation, and I shoot straight upwards, through the cloud layer. I pass through the clinging rain droplets, fog, lightning flashes, and emerge on the other side.
I am immediately greeted by...silence. And the soft glow of the double sunset. The system is composed of a large yellow star, and a small red dwarf, both locked in their eternal duet. The glow of the two stars tints the cloud tops orange. I turn to look at the fluffy sea all around me. Ever-changing structures and shapes swirl slowly all around me, stretching all the way to the horizon. I look directly at the suns. It doesn’t hurt my eyes. Instead, staring at these suns seems to improve my eyesight. Faraway objects become sharper, dark places easier to see in. Floating above the clouds, I feel like an angel. A glowing creature of the heavens.