The Correspondent is a web serial by Dylan Reed. Buy the Origin story now.

Golden Age, Episode 1, Part 3

The Correspondent

People always talk about where they were when they first heard about The Correspondent. She came out of nowhere and tried to make a difference. Some saw her as a beacon of hope, others as a sign of how far down the slope we had come. I never paid attention to all of that. I was too busy. Too busy working to pay my bills, too busy trying to figure out life. I was seventeen when it started. I was The Correspondent. This is my story.

The Alcove is not as awesome as it sounds. It is a single car garage with old mattresses nailed to the wall to deaden sound. I needed sound proofing because solving crimes takes loud music.

Inside I have a computer, a couple of screens and a pile of catalogs for super-stuff. I spend most of my time in the Alcove. I have a fancy case for holding my suit. After a week of heroing I realized that super suits smell bad after just a day of use. Sure most of the suit is a neprene-kevlar blend that is easy to clean but it still holds sweat.

This fancy case for holding my suit is a commercial sanitizer, the kind used in restaurants to sanitize dishes. I peel out of my suit and toss it in and push go. I slip into my research clothes, a pair of leggings and a tank top, and sit at my computer to do some research.

None of the books tell you that most of the work for being a hero is really mind-numbingly boring. I like internet research as much as the next person but honestly searching for weird high-tech dog collars online is just going to lead down a path of the internet that you don’t want to go.

I came up with nothing on my search. If only I had been able to get my hands on the device and bring it home with me. Then I could have fiddled with it and maybe figured something out. More likely I would have shocked myself.

One of the more recent articles I read in the Acme Hero Newsletter, talked about how to grow as a hero. Apparently a lot of heroes fall into a niche. Armed robberies, muggings, that sort of things. The article said it was just as important to help with less obvious crimes like domestic violence.

I made a note to look into the local women’s shelters to see if I could be of assistance. I shut down my computer and headed home. Home isn’t what it once was.

Our main floor unit is nice and new, but it doesn’t feel like home. The front door opens to a large living room-kitchen combination. There is a hallway that leads to the bedrooms, which are right next to each other. Mine is the smaller one.

I could hear the sound of my dad’s machines as I entered. He does alright during the day but has to have a CPAP machine to help him breath at night. The worst part is that the sound of him breathing reminds me of my failure. I failed to save my dad from harm.

Pushing those thoughts from my head I head to the bathroom to get ready for bed. Brushing my teeth I think about what the next week looked like. I had school, as usual, and my internship at the police station. I wouldn’t have much time to look into the collar personally, but maybe I could ask one of the fans of The Correspondent to look into it.

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The story of The Correspondent will continue weekly. The Correspondent: Origin is available now. If you enjoyed this story, please consider scrolling down and recommending it on Medium. Follow me on Medium or on Twitter for more posts like this. Want early access? Support me!

Dylan Reed has always been interested in a good story. Raised without a TV he spent a lot of time with books and loves reading. Dylan has been a professional entertainer, studied commercial diving, and loves random trivia. He brings all of this and more together in his stories.