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

Golden Age, Episode 7, Part 1

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.

To say things got wierd after Shelby got out of the hospital would be an understatment. He no longer looked like a gawky teenaged nerd, but instead looked like a middle aged man gone to seed. He had the bginnings of a belly, wrinkles around his eyes and grey hair. The doctors were at a loss to figure out what happened to him and I wasn’t any better.

True to his word Shelby had kept my secret. I don’t think he believed I was The Correspondent. Sometimes I didn’t believe it either. Continuing my investigation seemed silly at this point. I had no idea what I was looking for. The forums that I had used were shut down, criminals now wise that thier safe world was no longer safe.

My mom wasn’t happy that someone else had been hurt, but understood that I had done all that I could. Mendez was less happy. He wanted me to stop the heroing nonesense, even going so far as to threaten me with an arrest. I knew he was bluffing but I didn’t know how long it would remain a bluff.

School was the worst. Shelby had been stuck in the hospital for weeks before coming back. All anyone knew was that I came back to school beat up and that Shelby wasn’t around. Rumors started that he had beaten me up because of some wierd stalker thing. I didn’t even try to understand it. When he came back the rumors died down but I could tell some people believed the worst of him.

Shelby started coming over after school, the two of us would work on school work and more often than not he would stay for dinner. I didn’t know what to do. I felt guilty about what happened and couldn’t figure out how to make it better. All of the doctors that had looked at Shelby had said that his condition was irreversible.

When Shelby went home I would spend the rest of my evening refining my crime finder program. I would enter in new data and then check the stats the next day to see if it was accurate. My accuracy was increasing but there was something I was missing.

I had no luck finding more information on the crew that took Shelby. Mendez refused to give me any information about crimes that had collared hulks at them, which meant I had to do more research to find what was happening.

I was starting to feel more and more isolated. Isolation was standard for heroes but I hated it. Talking to my mom was hard because she just wanted me to be safe, she didn’t discourage me or forbid me from going out looking for trouble, but I could see that she would prefer if I stopped.

So I stopped talking to her about it. I went back to sneaking off and leaving her in the dark. I didn’t want her to worry about me, but I had to figure out what was happening.

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The story of The Correspondent will continue weekly. If you enjoyed this story, please scroll down and recommend it. Follow me on Medium or on Twitter.

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.