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

Origin, Episode 11, Part 2

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.

ON MY WAY HOME I STOPPED at the hospital to see my parents. When I got to the room they weren’t there. My stomach dropped to my feet. I could think of no good reason for them to not be in the room. I forced myself to calm down and ask one of the nurses where they had gone.

“They went for a walk,” the nurse said.

“Which way did they go?”

He pointed towards the elevators and I headed that way. I found them by a large window that looked out over the street below. My dad was in a wheelchair and my mom was standing behind him as they looked outside. I guess I have been spending to much time sneaking around because they didn’t hear me coming.

“I am worried about Ellie,” my mom said, as I came up behind them, “I think she blames herself for what happened.”

“That’s ridiculous,” my dad said, mumbling as he worked at talking, “She had no idea what they were going to do. I am just glad she got out of there.”

“I have told her that but she doesn’t listen.”

I turned around and walked back the way I came. Once I could no longer hear them I headed back towards them.

“I went to your room and you guys were gone. The nurse told me I would find you over here,” I said, louder than necessary, “How is your day going?”

My mom turned in surprise.

“Our day is going great. Your dad can get in and out of this chair on his own now,” she said, turning dad’s chair around, “Today they are going to start him on walking.”

“Hey, Ellie,” he said, with a small wave.

“Hey, dad. I just got done talking to the police and thought I would stop by for lunch. We could go down to the cafeteria.”

“That sounds nice,” my dad said.

“We’ll have to check with the nurses first,” my mom said.

The nurses were happy to let dad come with us to the cafeteria. We enjoyed a nice institutional meal that probably met all of my dietary needs. After lunch we pushed dad all over the hospital. Dad was in great spirits, greeting everyone he saw and smiling a lot. Towards the end of our walk he started to get tired and mixing up words.

When we got back to his room the physical therapist was waiting for him. The physical therapist was a pleasant looking young women and she was bubbly enough to encourage anyone. Dad had about thirty-seconds in his room before she pushed him off to the therapy gym. Mom and I waved goodbye as dad headed out the door.

“He is going to be tired tonight,” mom said, sitting down in one of the chairs.

“He seems to be doing better,” I said, “Is he doing better?”

“Yeah, he is. It is slow but he is making progress everyday.”

“Good,” I said, sitting in the other chair.

After an hour of sitting with my mom I decided it was time to go. There were a lot of preparations I needed to make before going after The Rat and putting them off sitting at the hospital was not one of them. I told my mom I would bring lunch with me tomorrow and headed home. Driving home, I started to get nervous. I would be actively looking for trouble and I wasn’t sure exactly what I was doing.

The first thing I did when I got home was put my suit through the wash. I wanted it to be as pristine as possible and free of any grime that may lead to chaffing. I made sure all of the software in my mask was up to date and ready to go. Then it was time for a nap.

Figuring that I was going to be out late I wanted to be as rested as possible. I also wanted to use the darkness to my advantage. At first I didn’t think I was going to be able to sleep but the next thing I knew it was eight o’clock and night had fallen. I grabbed my suit out of the dishwasher and hopped in the shower.

In order to make sure I was completely dry before suiting up I had time to check out my recent injuries. The bruises had faded and were no longer tender to the touch. I also noticed that my muscles were more visible thanks to my current regimen of running around like a crazy person. Apparently climbing drain pipes and running through parks at night is a good work out.

I put white makeup around my eyes to make them blend in with the mask, further disguising my face. Putting the suit on I felt the familiar tightness as it adjusted to fit. I put my phone in its designated pocket, making sure that it was in sync with the suit. Once I attached the skirt I was ready to go. I grabbed the bat on the way out the door.

As I left my house I called Zeb and asked him to call the cops if he hadn’t heard from me in an hour. I told him where to send them in the park and made him promise to wait a full hour. I wanted first crack at The Rat and didn’t want to get shot by a well meaning cop.

Entering the park, I felt calmness settle over me. I was about to make things right. Bringing The Rat to justice would make everything all right again. I just had to be smart and careful. Stealth was my friend and as long as I didn’t do something stupid I would be ok. Taking a deep breath, I headed to the spot I had captured Mouse and activated stealth mode.

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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.