[Writing Prompt] You’re a courier trying to deliver letters and notes to the Hero. They’re basically impossible to find because they’re always on the move, and all you can do is follow their trail of destruction/justice and hope you catch up.
Damnit, not again. Sally had just given me my next assignment. I was looking forward to hang up my bike and enjoy a pizza and a movie tonight. Or some quality time with Billy. But I had to do one last job.
Deliver an envelope. Sounded easy enough, until I saw the address. Captain Awesome, the cities resident superhero. Nothing else. No streetname, housenumber or even postcode. Just Captain Awesome. Crap. Not this again. It meant I had to randomly bike all over the city to find the guy.
I looked up and Sally just shrugged.
“I know, I know, but what can we do?” she said, drawing on the cigarette always hanging in the corner of her mouth. “I gave that job to you, because you have a knack for finding these guys, Ahmed.”
I was about to protest, when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I turned towards the screen hanging on the wall across from the tattered old leather couch that was basically the couriers break room.
‘Breaking News: Captain Awesome is engaged in a fight with the Night Bolt downtown. All citizens are advised to stay indoors and keep their windows shut.’
I was suprised they had live footage from the fight. Usually every electronic equipment in the vicinity of the Night Bolt would cease to function. And just like that the picture went dead and the news anchor came back on the screen a moment later.
‘It seems we have lost the connection to our reporter on the scene…’
I turned around and walked outside, where my bike was tied to a lamppost. I opened all three heavy duty locks in record time and swung the bicycle around. A quick look up and down the street showed a small window of opportunity to get into the flow of traffic and not get flattened by a truck or some yahoo taxi driver with an axe to grind against bike messengers.
I knew where to go. Right before the picture had crapped out, I recognized the street corners the supers were fighting at. I just hoped the fight would last long enough for me to get there and deliver the envelope.
Traffic was normal for this time of the day. Which meant choking off every street and side alley downtown. I had done this job long enough to know a short cut or two, so that I didn’t have to drive through the thousands of angry commuters, delivery trucks and cabs on the main roads.
And with the fight going on downtown, streets were extra full, as everyone was trying to avoid that area and get home as fast as they could. When I left the courier service, cars were driving very slowly.
Two blocks down the road, everything was at a standstill. Cars were standing four and even five cars deep on a three lane avenue, so space got tight even for my bike. Looking over the car roofs I could see the occasional lightning bolt going off in the distance, evidence the fight was still going on.
I turned into an alley and activated the electric motor on my bike. I was a good messenger, but I wasn’t a purist like some of my colleagues. I wasn’t ashamed to put a small electrical engine on my bike for some extra boost. It got me to my target just that much faster and being faster meant more jobs throughout the day. More jobs meant more tips and eventually less days I need to stay in this job until I had enough money saved up to start that vegan restaurant I always dreamed off. I already had a spot picked out too, the roof of one of the apartment complexes I delivered mail to regularly. It wasn’t in use and I knew the owner.
A couple of meters in front of me a door opened and an ignorant restaurant worker stepped out with a huge bag of trash. I nearly send him flying into the wall and narrowly avoided being decapitated by a low hanging fire escape. The sound of his curses followed me down the alley.
I was pushing the bike as fast as I could, when I started swerving all of a sudden and nearly lost control. I had reached the very edge of the fight zone and one of the lightning bolts just hit a lamp post near me. The ensuing crackling electricity shorted out my engine.
So I only had my muscles from here on in. I was still a few blocks from the plaza I had seen on the news, but Night Bolts reach was tremendous. Traffic was nonexistent here. People had fled the scene, cars were standing abandoned, completely dead as the fight had shorted everything out in a five block radius.
Half a block later, the scene changed again. Windows were blown, cars were damaged. There was a pileup at an intersection, not just cars crashing into each other, but someone stacked them atop one another. Apparently the fight had come through here.
The destruction only got worse from there. This city was used to the fights of the supers, but this was starting to look like something worse. Captain Awesome and the Night Bolt were really going at each other.
I didn’t see any law enforcement or paramedics in the area. Fortunately, I didn’t see any casualties either, so the people had made it out and only property had been damaged.
Wayncroft Plaza was earily quiet when I arrived. I hadn’t noticed the fight stopping, I was too busy navigating the debris field for the past two blocks. I looked around for Captain Awesome, but couldn’t see him anywhere.
A crackle made me jump and I turned around. In front of me was the Bainbridge Tower. What was left of it anyway. There was a huge hole where the lobby used to be. I had delivered to that lobby more than once. I hope all the people got out before the fight. First and second floor were nearly gone and I had a good look up to the ceiling of the third floor. It was a wonder, the building was holding up at all and hadn’t collapsed yet. There was electricity dancing around the edges of the debris. And not just the normal blue sparks either.
The Night Bolt.
I saw him laying on his back in a heap of rubble, all that electricity dancing around him. But he wasn’t moving.
But before I could decide whether to approach the Night Bolt, I heard strange noises. Turning around, I saw another pile of debris move until Captain Awesome was emerging from beneath it.
He shook of the rest of the dust and walked over to where the Night Bolt was lying, giving me nary a glance.
“Hey, Captain Awesome” I said, as he was bending over his fallen foe to see if he was still alive. He froze and then his head slowly turned towards me.
“Got a delivery for you” I said as cheerfully as I could, while pulling the envelope out of my bag with one hand and grabbing my phone with the other.
“Can you sign here?”