Being a superhero wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. Sure you get fame and name recognition. Hell, she made a mint being a spokesperson for products from toothpaste (“Knock the plaque right out of your mouth”) to sports cars (“Have a blast while moving fast, even without the spandex”).
Krystal hated the physical beatings she took on a regular basis, and the insurance rates for liability and destruction were astronomical. The worst though was the impact on your personal life. Running two different lives, with one of them top secret, made dating a living hell. The last guy she had been with basically broke up with her and left with the pizza delivery girl one night after a particularly long and painful supervillain fight.
All of that didn’t really matter at the moment as Krystal sent pulses of kinetic energy into the perp that had just ripped the vault out of First Federal Bank. The pulses hit the robber in the torso, causing the vault to fall down into the rubble of the bank’s back wall. Krystal floated to the right to get a better angle.
The perp looked up at Krystal and shook a fist. “Damn you Pulsed!” His voice filled with as much gravel as the rubble around him.
Krystal stopped midair. Something about the thief struck her as familiar. Without all the grittiness in his voice, he would almost sound like…
He reached down and with a flick of his wrist flung a huge hunk of concrete her direction. Krystal barely dodged out of the way before sending another three blasts of kinetic energy into him, two right on the chin and the last to his right shoulder.
The perp teetered but didn’t fall. He instead leapt into the air and managed to grab onto Krystal’s foot. She kicked out, enhancing the action with a large burst of her kinetic power, but before he let go he managed to throw her into a nearby building. She bounced off the second floor before falling the rest of the way to the ground. She softened the two-story fall with a quick kinetic burst, but still, the landing rattled her teeth and would leave some bruises on her knees.
The perp wiped away some blood that was trickling out of his busted lower lip through his torn mask. “Stay down and I won’t hurt you anymore,” he said.
Krystal pulled herself to her feet. She glanced at her communicator on her arm. The rest of the crew should be on its way. She just had to stall a bit more she hoped. She decided to turn up the sarcasm.
“You have a funny way of not hurting me,” she said. “Why don’t we dance a bit more?”
The perp this time did a double take. “What did you say?”
“I asked if you wanted to dance some more?”
Hearing her real name coming from his mouth stunned her more than the smashing into the building. How did he know?
“Is that really you?” he asked. The gravel was gone from his voice.
Krystal’s eyes went wide as she finally recognized who she was facing. “Peter, is that you?”
“Well I’ll be damned if this isn’t awkward,” Peter said. He then laughed. “So this is what you were doing when you got called into work?”
“When did you get powers?”
“I had them all the time. I was just trying to play it straight, but then, well you know. I had to figure out something after I didn’t have a place to live.”
“Shelia dumped you?”
“The pizza delivery girl.”
“Was that her name?”
Krystal saw red. She flung everything she had left and landed it on his chin. Peter’s eyes rolled back and he crumbled to the ground very ungracefully.
“Break up with me and don’t even remember her name?” With that, Krystal slumped to the ground as well.
Her com came to life with Dr. Valliant’s voice. “Hold on Pulsed. The cavalry is on the way.”
Krystal muttered under her breath. “Make sure you don’t drop your coconuts, Sir Robin.” She punched on her mic. “The perp is down, so call in the paddy wagon. I’m going home and ordering a pizza.”