unwitting, unwilling, unready

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

what teenager doesn't want to have the fate of the world resting on their shoulders? michael. michael doesn't want to have anything more serious than his next history test resting on his shoulders. unfortunately for michael, his twin sister mikayla sees saving the world as a great morning warm-up. then again - mikayla is a superheroine. it's just that now she's a superheroine who has been captured and if michael doesn't rescue her then the world is going to go poof and he won't have to worry about failing spanish any more because there will be no one left who speaks spanish to begin with. ¿dónde está la guarida del supervillano?

"So - you learned how to ask where the library is, or have you started telling people your name is "library"?" The cheerful voice was unwelcomingly grating this early in the morning and almost as unwelcome as the bright light shining in through the curtains and landing on Michael's face.

When they were much younger, much much younger, the siblings Michael and Mikayla would occasionally sleepover at their grandmother's house. Their grandmother, much like Michael, was not a quote-unquote "morning person" like young Mikayla and used to call such ungodly hours before noon as 6 a.m. the "crack of sparrow's fart". Michael wholeheartedly agreed with this assessment of morning - however, the irritated bear woken too early from hibernation impression that the 17-year-old boy was currently performing only allowed for the sounds of annoyed grunts or occasional muted roars as he brought himself into something resembling an upright position. If we took "upright" to be the same upright as the Leaning Tower of Pisa - and not the same upright as the 30 storey apartment building in Nova Urbe the siblings shared with their uncle.

"No good blinking that evil glare at me little brother. I wasn't the one who decided that staying up past his bedtime to play some video game was more important than being able to wake up the next morning for school." Mikayla told him from his room's doorway. The 5ft 8in tall teenage girl had short-cropped brown hair slightly longer down one side than the other and laughing blue eyes that always seemed to find amusement in everything. She wasn't leaning against the doorway, leaning being a habit she frequently told Michael off for but was fully upright, alert, and occasionally bouncing up onto the balls of her feet before resting them fully back down again.

"We're twins, y'know the same age; thus I'm not your little brother," Michael grunted unhappily at her sotto voce.

"One twin is always older..." Mikayla sing-songed as she virtually skipped toward the breakfast nook.

"And they refuse to tell us which of us is older to try and avoid exactly this kind of issue!" Michael called after her before wrapping himself in his duvet cover and shuffling to the bathroom for morning ablutions.

It was several hours later when Michael actually finally felt awake. Pity he'd already had to sit through two lessons, the subjects of which he had only a passing idea of if asked. Taking advantage of the school library to hide out Michael had just settled down to use a computer he'd put a fake "out-of-order" sticker on the day before so he could be sure it would be available when he heard a weird clamouring in the librarian's office.

The mousey-haired 40-something woman who frowned gently at people who made too much noise in the library had let out a small scream of horror as she watched a news report. A few students nearby had come over, and a small gasp rushed through the crowd.

"The superheroine Penumbra- who received her hero licence three years ago, is seen here in video phone footage in a battle, taken half an hour ago, with the villain Eradic, she was captured on film seems to have fallen and been captured by the villain. Any information concerning Penumbra's state of well being and current whereabouts would be greatly appreciated by both the station and Nova Urbe Police Department."

Well. This sucked. Penumbra was Mikayla's not so clever hero pseudonym. At the sinking feeling, Michael was suddenly having; he began to sense that an algebra pop-quiz was now going to be the least of his worries today.

 

~*~

 

"Of course we understand that this is a trying time for anyone to be in..." the man in a cheap suit was saying while Michael concentrated on looking at the cheap styrofoam cup holding even cheaper coffee that was next to the man's elbow. One good knock and it endangered at least two piles of paperwork on the Principal's desk.

It was less than an hour after the newscast he watched in the library that Michael had been called to the principal's office so he could be interviewed by Enforcement Liaisons, the people tasked with making sure superheroes followed the regulations that had been set up specifically for them after the discovery of superpowered beings, and worked with both heroes and non-hero law enforcement officers. Honestly, it wasn't like they were going to find out anything new from Michael. Mikayla followed the rules of OpSec and not telling those not involved in investigations about said investigations religiously. But then this attention to detail and following the rules was what had allowed her to receive her licence early. She also didn't do something as equally reckless as it would perhaps be sensible as taking her phone with her on the job. So they couldn't track a GPS but neither could bad guys. She couldn't call for help, but the bad guys couldn't track down vulnerable friends and family.

How did they not have a proper backup for when the superheroes' main means of communications, the commlinks they all wore, went down? Why were they not required to work always in groups of two or more like cops so they always had back up? What on earth was the point of having superheroes be licenced, trained, and treated as a form of law enforcement if they were just going to act as if they were somehow infallible? Heaven's sake - it was law enforcement - the entire system was fallible by design!

There was talk a few years ago of microchipping superheroes so they could be tracked when they were taken captive - but that didn't get off the ground between human rights groups, some conspiracy theorists who argued if the superheroes got it then the rest of the world would be next, and the fact that no system, no matter how well designed or protected, is flawless. Anything can be hacked. Ultimately all of this just meant one thing.

They had no idea how to find Mikayla.

Disgusted by how helpless Mikayla's supposed colleagues were in this Michael marched out of the office as soon as he could. He was supposed to go to his afternoon classes.

Well... stuff that.

He was cutting. And then he was going to find his sister.

He also knew where to start searching. The laundry room of the apartment building.


Submitted: January 14, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Rebecca Makin. All rights reserved.

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Comments

dreamcatcher10

Is that all? Or is there more coming?

Thu, January 14th, 2021 6:23pm

Chuck Valentine

This was fun. It was curious from the start to see where this was going. I like the idea of twins but one is mundane and the other is a super hero. I just kinda hope Michael can save his sister :O

Thu, January 14th, 2021 6:38pm

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