Ronnie woke with a start as a motorcycle thundered down the street outside. “How long have I been out?” he thought, reaching for his phone. “Shit, still dead.” A soft golden glow filtered through the window, casting long shadows across his wall. It was well into the afternoon, meaning he had slept through most of the day.
He stretched towards the charger on his desk and plugged in his phone. Notification after notification popped up on the screen. His heart sank when he saw the flurry of missed calls and texts from his father earlier that morning, each one with increasing worry and urgency. He flicked them off of the display and he reached for the business card on his desk.
The idea still seemed impossible. Wasn’t he too old to start training? He had read that most people with powers discovered them when he they were young children. Years of intense study followed before provisional hero status linked with a full member. He couldn’t imagine what being a sidekick at his age would be like, other than pretty humiliating. But his powers were so new -- and if he were being honest -- pretty damn scary. There was no other place to learn what he could do, or to make sure that others around him were safe from any future outbursts. If another person was hurt because of him, Ronnie knew he would never forgive himself.
He held the business card straight out in front of him and squinted at it. He wasn’t exactly sure what he expected to happen, but nothing did. Whatever his powers were, Ronnie had barely seen a hint of them since the scene in the alley. Would he even be able to call on them willingly? He took another breath and focused on the card. After a moment, a familiar tingling began to surface at the tips of his fingers. He concentrated harder on that feeling, and his thumb and forefinger started to glow with a shimmering green light.
“Holy shit,” he whispered, a smile forming on his lips. He mentally pushed the glowing light outwards from his fingers. It slowly enveloped the business card, coating it in a thin dazzling light. Keeping his mind on the card, he released his hand. To Ronnie’s amazement, the card stayed in the air as if locked in his gaze. He then moved his hand up, and it matched his movements. Back and forth, it floated through the air, flipping over on its side as Ronnie flipped his wrist. He spread his fingers wide and imagined calling the card back to his hand. It obeyed, and he caught it as it zipped towards him.
Ronnie wiped the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand. Superpowers were cool, but they were also exhausting. That little display had left him panting and uncomfortably hot. He definitely needed more training if he was going to be of any help to anyone.
Ronnie’s eyes flicked to an old poster on the wall above his bed. He had gotten it from his mother on the morning of his tenth birthday. A poster of Zephyr, his most beloved superhero. She was flying over a silhouette of the city towards the viewer. Her cape billowed far behind her, becoming a bright purple streak that stretched into the horizon. There was a look of determination on her face, and purpose sparkled in her eyes like the electricity that crackled in the air around her.
As a child, Ronnie had looked at that poster every night before he went to bed, and felt so secure knowing that Zephyr was watching over him as he slept. When he played around the house, he would pretend that he was Weather Boy, Zephyr’s dependable sidekick. Which, considering he actually knew Weather Boy now, made his childhood imaginings all the more surreal. Something in Zephyr’s eyes always gave him a sense of duty when he saw that poster. He felt that same sense of duty now, and knew what he had to do.
Ronnie picked up his phone and dialed the number on the card. The line rang twice before someone picked up.
“Operations, state your name please.” A voice on the other end stated.
“Um, hi, this is Ronnie Nolan.”
“Oh hey Ronnie! It’s Maya! What can I do for ya?”
“I want in.” he said.