Golden Age, Episode 2, Part 4

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.

There was one particular blog post that caught my eye. It was written by The King, who was a hero for hire in Dallas. Acme had hired him to write blogs for them when he started to gain a following online. At the top of every one of his posts was a picture of his black and gold mask sitting on a wooden table. I thought it look pretentious.

The post was titled “Getting Back in the Game” and it was all about starting over. As I read the post I thought about how I had been trying to start over. The fight with The Rat at the end of the summer had taken a lot out of me and now that I knew that he wasn’t going to be punished for his crimes I felt myself spiraling down.

I forced my mind away from the dark recesses and pulled up the Acme catalog. Acme Hero Equip, Inc had been posting new merchandise every week since this summer. Most of my time online was spent drooling over the equipment that I could never afford.

After my last hero experience I was ready for some new gear. But since my dad got hurt, we haven’t had a lot of extra money, so I can’t ask mom for help. And the police made it very clear that since my internship was for school I wouldn’t be paid. This is probably why people become villains.

So instead of buying anything I just made my self a shopping cart full of dream equipment. The micro battery to power my baton, a jacket so I don’t freeze to death, and a set of throwing balls.

Throwing balls were a non-lethal ranged weapon. From what I could see they were large ball bearings, powder coated to match your costume, that could be used to trip people up, knock them out or, more likely, be annoying to bad guys. I liked the idea of having something that would give me a little more range and I was a sucker for color matching.

My mom came back out and gave me a kiss on the top of my head.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“Online window shopping,” I said.

“Anything good?”

“Lots, but I’ll need to find a better job if I want to get any of it.”

“Can I help?”

I thought about the hospital bills my parents were paying and I couldn’t say yes.

“No, I’ll figure it out.”

“Be careful,” she said, before heading off to bed.

Realizing that I now had permission to go off and be a hero, I shut my laptop and headed to the Alcove.

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The story of The Correspondent will continue weekly. 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.

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.