Voice from the Void

A whisper emanates from the dark



By Matthew Spence

It’s 7:30 a.m. on a Monday, and it’s time for me to go to work at my day job. I help my wife get the kids ready for school and take the drive down the interstate to the insurance office where I crunch numbers for a living.

No one bats an eye as I walk in. They all know me, even the newer interns. The manager gives me silent acknowledgment as I take my usual place at my desk. It’s a steady job, helps pay the bills and lets me keep a low profile when I’m not on duty.

I’m a second generation Suit. My dad was one of the originals, working for a legitimate team in Pittsburgh before he retired. I inherited his name and cape, while creating my own identity. It’s not a bad life. I get to help people, maybe show off a little bit, but it can get a bit hectic especially with the new generation of bads that have come up. They’re more violent, don’t follow the same rules that the older ones did. That’s where people like me come in. There are fewer of us and more of them now, and somebody has to do it.

I get the call about an hour into work. The boss nods and lets me go. I take the elevator downstairs, speed-changing along the way since Suits can’t change into their public identities on private property. I take off into a clear, cold early Spring sky, letting the sun do its work charging my cells and activating my nanite gravitons.

I pick up the bad’s energy trail about a mile outside of Pittsburgh. A quick reference check through my team’s online database identifies him as another new one, no more than sixteen, just now getting attention. At first glance it looks like it might be part of a gang initiation, but his records show no known affiliations, which means he’s working solo, trying to make a name for himself. He’s a flyer, with added enhanced skin protection, probably black market. Either way, he’s young and not experienced with his power set, which I can use to my advantage. I come down at him from above and behind. He stops in mid-air, clearly recognizing me, but not running.

“I can take you down,” he boasts. “I’m gonna make this craphole city my own.”

“Not today, kid,” I reply. I’ve seen his kind before, on both sides, but at least the ones who want to be Suits aren’t out for their own power. I target the kid with a gravity punch, something that knocks him down without breaking anything. He tries to come back at me, but his inexperience shows in his attacks, which are completely frontal and instinctive, lacking strategy. It’s not too long before he’s down on the pavement, and a meta response team comes to depower him and take him to an enhanced jail cell.

Just another day at work.