Taran took the stairs up to the roof of the dormitory wing, scaring off several pigeons that were camped there. The sun was beginning to set, casting a golden glow over the city. He walked to the edge of the building and took a deep breath. Stretching out his arms, he called the wind to him. It began to whip around in billowing gusts and tugged on his cape. Taking two more steps towards the edge, he dove off the building.
The wind rushed against his face as he swooped low towards the ground. He refocused his thoughts at the last minute, and the gale buffeted him back up into the sky. He rocketed upward, spun into a corkscrew, and then hovered above the city. From this elevation, Taran had an eagle’s eye view of everything. The sun was warm against his face. He closed his eyes, taking in the heat and letting it settle into his bones. A breeze carried the sounds of the busy streets below him.
He focused his hearing on anything that sounded like trouble. Screams, threats, or gunfire carried a lot farther than people realized. It also helped when you were able to control the air currents to your advantage. Taran wasn’t catching anything tonight. It was so far, a peaceful evening. He loved nights like this, it made him feel that the work he and the Syndicate did was actually having an impact on the city. After all, wouldn’t you be less likely to commit a crime if you know that someone would always swoop in to thwart you? He leaned forward and started a slow patrol around the city center.
As he passed over a park, a group of children stopped and looked to the sky. They waved frantically and yelled up at him. “Hi, mister superhero! Hi! Hiiii!”
Taran waved back at them and pulled into a loop before speeding off. The squeals of delight from the park below made him smile. Little moments like that meant a lot to him as a hero, and he loved being able to interact with the public. His parents had taught him from a young age that it wasn’t just saving people that was important, but also being a symbol for the average citizen. That sense of duty had always meant a lot to him.
That wasn’t to say that continually being an example to others didn’t cause some internal strife. Every action Silver Cyclone took was scrutinized in the media. It had been this way ever since he began work as a teenage sidekick under his mother, Zephyr. She was the only founding member to have never taken a hero under her wing before, and it was a bit of a media frenzy. Taran remembered all the interviews with teen magazines and websites, each one wanting the scoop on this new hero. He was grilled on his study habits, daily routines, and other intimate details about his life. His father encouraged all of this, of course, though they kept the family connection hidden from the public. His family all kept secret identities -- which not every Syndicate member did -- in an attempt to give Taran some semblance of private life. But all good press ultimately benefited the dynasty one way or another.
Most people considered superheroes to be pillars of virtue and morality, and Taran had a bad habit of internalizing all those expectations. He felt compelled to carry that duty over to his civilian life as well, lest he set a bad example for the public.
“Maybe I should just settle down and get married,” he thought. “Isn’t that what I’m supposed to do? Wouldn’t that make everyone happy?”
Part of him knew that he’d never be able to please his father. Taran had always felt like the black sheep in the family. He didn’t inherit the bombastic physical abilities of his father and instead had more hands-off powers. His junior hero name, Weather Boy, had been somewhat of a misnomer. While Taran had mastered control over wind and could fly at a considerable speed, he had never been able to manifest any other weather based skills like his mother. Without power over rain and lightning, Taran had always felt like half a hero. It was part of the reason why he was so dedicated to formal combat training. If he wasn’t able to punch through walls with sheer strength, he wanted to make sure that he was otherwise at the peak of physical ability.
There were other things, too. Feelings that bubbled to the surface on occasion when Taran gave himself a moment alone to think. Emotions that should they ever become public were sure to bring more attention to the family. And not necessarily the kind of press that his father was looking for. An end to the family line as they knew it.
But the family drama wasn’t going away anytime soon, and it was time to get back to work. Taran turned towards the north side of the city when the communicator hummed in his ear. He activated it.
“Go for Silver Cyclone.”
“SC! It’s Maya.”
“What’s up, Control?”
“Ronnie called. He’s in.”
Taran smiled to himself. He had been proven right, and sooner than he expected. Ronnie had only been home for a few hours.“Excellent news,” he told her.
“How do you want to proceed? There’s family involved.”
“Standard procedure. Mockup the documents and have them ready for me?”
“Consider it done. So you when you want to onboard?”
Taran paused for a moment to think. As one of the trainee instructors, Syndicate orientation was part of his duties. It was still early enough in the evening where a home visit wouldn’t be seen as overly unusual. And to be honest, Taran had been thinking about Ronnie since he said goodbye at the car that morning, and he wanted to check-in.
“No time like the present. The sooner Ronnie gets into training, the better,”
“Sounds good, I’ll have everything ready for you by the time you’re back at headquarters. Oh, and Taran?”
“Wear the dark suit, it goes well with your eyes.”