The room was too hot, the clock was too loud and the form was too long. Still, Lonny Spake did his best to balance the clipboard on his knees and work his way down the application. Experience. Education. Special Skills. Desired Salary. His life jammed into tiny squares. He signed the bottom and carried the form to the lady behind the desk.
They always find me.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my profession. But it’d be nice to have an occasional drink in peace. Disguises don’t help. My skin is brown this time, my eyes grey like my hair. Still, he knows me.
He sits on the next barstool, orders a beer.
I ignore him. Stare at the telly.
“I—” he begins.
“Don’t care,” I say.
“—have a request.”
I sip my Scotch. “Everyone does.”
“You know why I’m here.”
I glance at him. He’s aged. More lines on his face, eyes ringed with shadows that can’t be explained by years.
I married too young. I was fresh out of high school and still going by “Mighty Girl,” even though I was technically a woman. HOUSE—the Homeland Organization of Undercover Super Enforcers—assigned Mighty Man, one of their first recruits, to check out all the places where super-phenomena had been reported and track down more superheroes for the program. Tales of a seventeen-year-old meteor crater and mighty me drew him to Anytown, Illinois.