Low-Key Superhero-ing

Anja Storm with her cat

I don’t go looking for trouble, but sometimes trouble finds me.

I like to go for walks in the evening. No, I’m not telling you where. That’s classified. It’s a security risk. So I like to go for evening walks. It’s calm. It’s quiet. People don’t ask me for autographs or photos. Selfies. Ugh. Don’t worry, I’ll say yes and I’ll smile if you ask. I’m not a jerk. I’m just an introvert who likes to fly under the radar. To do otherwise is a security risk.

Anyway, this isn’t a typical night out for me, although it starts that way.

I’ve just had dinner, it’s getting dark out, and I want to get my steps in. You know what it’s like. Quiet week. Still need to exercise. Otherwise I won’t be able to do my job.

So I’m walking down the streets. It’s dark. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. I like to look up at the stars and spot satellites, shooting stars, and yes, I’m quite the plane-spotter too. I carry my nerd card with me.

I see someone walking along the footpath heading towards me. Now I’m not one to be jumpy (superhero, remember?) but I do take heed. I note what they’re wearing. Distinguishable features. It’s dark, so I’m going by silhouette here. Do a quick time check. 8:09PM. You never know when you might need to recall this information.

As we pass, I glance towards them and say hi. I take it all in. Male. Caucasian. Black Nike hoodie. Dark pants. Skinny. About 190cm tall. Newish looking black Adidas shoes with white logo and midsole. Nothing suspicious, but I store it in the memory bank just in case.

After he passes me, I hear him mutter something, then BAM someone different jumps me from behind. Well now I know there’s at least two of them, and they clearly don’t know who I am.

Hey, I’m Anja Storm, and you just ruined my evening walk! I say and I grab his hand and get him in a finger lock. He can’t move. Nothing’s broken, but he’s under my control now.

His friend runs away, and I use my spare hand to call the police.

The police are slow. They always are. It’s not their fault. They’re just busy. And they know who I am, so they give non-superheroes priority. That’s cool, I get it. But my guy is squirming. So I break his finger.

Anyway, long story short, the police arrive, they take the guy, and give me a lift to the station too. I fill out an incident report at the police station. There’s an extra form the paramedics give me because I broke his finger. The cops don’t drive me home, but they do give me a lift to the nearest late-night espresso bar on the way to their next job. So I get a large iced coffee with chocolate sprinkles on top, and flag down a taxi to get home.

Because my job requires me to be hypervigilant, I then take mental notes of the taxi driver’s physical details, cab number, time check (9:44PM), all that stuff, and direct him to drop me off a block away from home.

I wish I could say the final five minute walk was a nice way to decompress, but it never is.

See, they’ve got these new rules and I have to log on and write up another report because the clean up crew for this job (not this job, but you know, bigger jobs that might include broken buildings, smashed up highways, and whatever else) doesn’t get their grants and insurance and blah blah blah if we don’t get every little detail into them. Even though I didn’t use any powers, I still have to do this so that they can keep doing their job, and when I do jobs for others their insurance will cover me.

So I spent the next 30 minutes being agitated with their system. How many password resets do I need to do to get myself logged back in? Why do they insist on allowing cookies? Superheroes are security nerds, you know.

And that was my night. Not classic hero work. Only saving myself. Mostly admin. Who’d’ve thought?

To wind down properly, I curled up on the couch with my cat and watched Iron Man for the zillionth time. Because the drama of superhero life in the movies is much more exciting than my own.

So… I haven’t mentioned my powers yet, have I? I should probably tell you about them some time.

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