Eighteen broken bones, one punctured lung, a fractured skull, and one eye I am not sure I will ever be able to open again. All in all not half bad for falling more than forty stories, ricochetting off of a few awnings on the way down. The doctors do not appreciate my sense of humour in this, evidently this is “inappropriate” because I “could have died” and “am clearly suicidal”. Doctors, am I right?
When I hit the ground I was fading in and out of consciousness. All I remember is seeing my leg snapped in half and the bone getting its first breath of fresh air. The real issue was explaining to my friends and family what I was doing up on that roof, and who had shot me. My mother fainted when she got the call, and my father immediately started yelling at the police “What are my taxes paying you for?” It was actually amusing listening to him lecture the doctors; it dawned on me that he cared a little less about my health, and a little more about his tax dollars being wasted.
I guess I should explain how I got into this, it is not an exciting story. There was no tragic accident, no chemical spill giving me super-human strength. I was not born on whatever planet that flying jerk is from. Nope, just a lower-middle class girl born on the edge of the city. People often use that phrase “wrong side of the tracks”, to make the dividing line of the struggling people and the well off sound more colourful. Well I was born on those tracks, right smack dab on the neighbourhood line between getting mugged and getting asked to donate monthly to charity. I know what you are probably thinking right now: this privileged complainer is trying to make her life seem hard when there is real struggle going on in the world. For the most part, you are right about my life not having any real struggle. But I am under no false illusions about that; I just decided that I might as well try to make a difference because hell, nobody else seemed willing. There is just too much red tape around the police to really help anyone, god help the good ones that try their best. I was also witness to that largely publicized moment when our musclebound hero got into trouble. For the record he said “I don’t have time to help people who won’t help themselves anymore”, not whatever cleaned up garbage the papers ended up feeding us. Which is the real problem, and reason I am doing this: someone has to help those that won’t help themselves anymore.
So what was the catalyst, the epiphany that led me to this hospital bed. I was walking to the subway to get home from work, a younger guy was walking ahead of me about half a block. Out of nowhere two drunks rush him, tackling him to the ground and shouting “give us your money you little fag”. I panicked, I dug for my cellphone to call 911 while he got the his head stepped on. To my surprise a guy with a skateboard rushed up and swung it as hard as he could at one of the two attackers. Blood splattered across the pavement as he reared the board back with eyes fixed on the second thug, the second one looked so shocked he just stood there for a moment before running as fast as he could the other direction. It was then that the police showed up, applauding the efforts of this vigilante hero that had just potentially saved a life. They shook his hand and said he was going to meet the mayor.
Yeah fucking right.
What actually happened was this, the cops rolled up guns drawn on the skateboard brandishing hero. They arrested him on the spot, along with the unconscious thug (the one that ran would get caught a day later) and he was charged with assault. He got two years for doing the job the police were too late to do, the young man who got attacked bled out. The mistake that guy with the board made? He waited for the police, he trusted that he had done the right thing and that the system would protect him.
That answers why I wear the mask, and do my best to not be seen. I prefer not to be thrown in jail as if I were some lunatic with a hero complex, just because I was bold enough to try to take back our city. My origin is simple, I am just a person that wants to help. I started doing this because it seemed simple (it was not), grab a weapon and take some swings at violent people doing terrible things. Save some lives and be a hero. I was wrong, and all I have to show for it is a bullet wound.
As for who shot me, that is a longer story. One that requires a prequel story if you will, otherwise it just wouldn’t make sense…
Part 3: Do Not Call It A Prequel
Part 4: Getting Shot Hurts (No, Seriously)