Red Racer sat down on the chair. He fidgeted, but that wasn’t unexpected. He sat there, breathing deeply. It took a few minutes, but he managed to settle down.
Racer closed his eyes and took one more breath. “Okay.”
I wasn’t born with my powers, but I was supposed to be. My parents were both walkers. My grandparents were walkers, at least on one side. Even my sister was a walker.
But I wasn’t.
You may not know this, but genetic walkers aren’t exactly common. Most people just don’t get powers in a way that would let their kids inherit them. But my parents were. I mean, my sister’s had powers since she was three, and there was no other explanation except our parents.
I was born eight years after her, and by the time I was five, my parents started wondering. They had a friend of theirs run some tests, making sure that I hadn’t woken up some unnoticeable power. But there was nothing. They would have kept on worrying, but then Eclipse attacked (There was a collective intake of breath from a few of the others).
That was almost seven years ago. Me and my sister lived with our grandparents for a few years after that, ‘til she turned 18. We did alright there, they were walkers like I said, but they had been retired for a while by then. They kept an eye on us, made sure we were fine but…it was never really right, ya know?
Once my sister was old enough, we got a place in the city. Our parents left us enough to get by on ‘til we got out of school and we both wanted to get out of the suburbs. It was a small place, a bedroom for each of us and bathroom to share, but it was good.
My sister started walking a year after we moved. She didn’t tell me, but it was just the two of us, it wasn’t hard to figure out. She wasn’t mad when she found out I knew, just made me promise not to tell anyone.
Eventually I got more curious about what she did, so I, uh, I followed her. And yeah, it was pretty awesome. But I guess I only had so long ‘til she figured out I was following her.
She was pretty mad. Kept saying stuff about how I didn’t even have powers, and she couldn’t spend the whole time protecting me, blah, blah, blah. It didn’t help much; I just got better at hiding from her.
I guess it took about ten months before something happened. She was fighting some prowler. He shot some kinda energy balls, and he hit the dumpster I was hiding behind.
That sent me flying into this warehouse. Me and a friend used to walk past it on the way back from school and he always called it the Science Warehouse. Used to joke about how nobody seemed to pick anything up from it, just drop off containers from some place or another.
I ended up hitting one of the crates. Luckily it was softer than I was, but I still wasn’t going anywhere at that point. Not sure how long I would’ve been there if he hadn’t shot another ball into the building. It hit the machine and the whole thing surged out.
Something came off of that machine and hit me. I don’t know if it was supposed to do that or what, but it hit me hard. And I could move again. I could move.
If I didn’t have my powers I never would have made it home before my sister. But I managed.
I didn’t tell her about my powers right away. I called my grandpa, and he wanted me to tell everyone, but said he’d let me decide. I talked to him about it on and off for a few weeks before I agreed to tell my sister the first time something happened with my powers.
He also told me my parents left me the suit.
He said they never gave up on me having powers, even if I had.
I picked it up after school one day, it only took me thirty minutes to get there and back and I was still home an hour before my sister-ter. I’m pretty sure they made the costume based off of their old ones, but I never got to see those. I think they wanted to be able to train us themselves.
I took a few months to get used to running, figure out how much I could handle, stuff like that. My grandpa said I wasn’t just moving fast but I didn’t really get what he meant, something about slingshots-shots.
I really didn’t start up anything until a few weeks before school got out. It was actually pretty easy-sy. I could move faster than any normal can keep track of and most prowlers don’t really know how to deal with runners too well-well.
It had to end eventually though. I held off on taking on anyone too big, but I slipped up. This guy-guy, he wasn’t anyone too special, but he could track me. He managed to trip me up-up, and I went right into a wall. It wasn’t too bad, I can hit things at pretty much full speed without too much trouble-ble, so long as they don’t hit back.
But it was enough for my sister-ter, who was on her way to the same fight, to get a look at me before I could get running again. And, apparently, she figured out it was me-me.
It really doesn’t go on much longer than that-that. There was a decent bit of yelling-ling. She said I should stop before I get hurt-hurt. I threw out some insulting nicknames. Everyone left feeling bad-bad.
But she did convince me to come here-here. Said if I stopped walking while this went on, then she would let me patrol with her when it was done-done. She even taught me how to fix my voice for a bit-bit. I don’t really want to quit, but I did promise-ise.
Red Racer was still smiling when he finished. Will took a look around and noticed that most of the room had relaxed a bit during his story. (‘Got to give it to the kid. He picked a good time to talk. Also, shit, how the hell did this kid survive three months with no training? There’s a reason we don’t let preteens out alone.’).
A slow clapping rang out over the theater. Will looked over and saw Unimportant applauding. He couldn’t see his face, of course, but the man seemed pleased all the same. Red Racer’s grin grew wider and he lept off the stage.
Will nodded at the slider and glanced at his watch. “Okay. We have two to go. I’m calling 15 minutes to grab a snack and take care of business. We won’t start until everyone’s back, but don’t waste time.”