Being a superhero’s not supposed to be depressing.
The ice cream rule started out as a blatant bribe. Back then I was just a little kid and didn’t really get what being a superhero was all about. I didn’t understand that sometimes my-
that people couldn’t always be around when I wanted them to be. There were hurricanes and alien invasions and Faerie Lords that wanted to hold New York City hostage while they played a riddle game and whatever. Even for someone who loved me as much as my-
Anyone would agree that stuff like that was more important than a little girl crying because she broke her dollhouse for the ninth time in a week.
That’s where the ice cream rule came in. Me and my-
I made a deal with people: any time I was having a really bad day and someone was too busy with a super thing to pay attention to me, I got ice cream as soon as the super thing was over. Silly but it worked. When I started doing super stuff myself, I mean on purpose instead of just getting caught up in it by accident when some evil mastermind can’t figure out that the daughter of-
What was I…?
You wouldn’t believe how many times some idiot in a black cape with a goatee decided that kidnapping the Titanic Toddler was a great way to distract the Legion. Don’t blame me for the name. I didn’t pick it. Well, turns out kidnapping a toddler that can rip through titanium like tissue paper is pretty tough and holding onto the toddler afterwards is even harder.
Eventually I started having adventures and stuff on purpose instead of just by accident. Sometimes bad stuff happens. I know, obvious, right? But I was just a kid and I didn’t really know it back then. I’m really fast and I can fly. I’m stronger and tougher than anyone but-
than anyone else on the planet. But I can’t be in more than one place at a time and I can still make mistakes. Sometimes, bad stuff happens and someone gets hurt.
Usually it’s just a bystander but I still don’t like it. Sometimes, one of my friends gets hurt. I hate that. I hate it more than anything else in the world. The first time… well, let’s just say the ice cream rule got changed pretty soon after I started my official career as a superhero. Yes, Legion trainees are superheroes not sidekicks.
Now, any time a mission goes bad or a friend gets hurt, my-
someone comes and we go get ice cream.
It’s still silly. I know that. But it makes me feel better so that’s okay.
But… but I’d been waiting a while and he-
and no one had come. I told Base and they should have told-
Someone should’ve come.
Eventually, I just gave up on waiting and told Base that I was going to go get it myself. They didn’t argue. The ‘must be accompanied by an adult if possible’ rule is for fights, not shopping and stuff. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? Maybe someone would try to mug me and everyone’d get a good laugh?
I flew up and a few miles away then ducked into an alley. My costume looks like a basic body suit with a face mask and cape but it’s got all these neat little concealed straps and pockets and stuff. If you kind of tuck in the right parts and take off some others, I end up looking like a normal girl dressed in pants and a t-shirt with a backpack. Well, if you don’t look too close.
It was late and still a little drizzly outside but Chicago’s a big city. I figured if I looked around a bit and maybe asked a few people I’d be able to find someplace that sold ice cream. It took longer than I’d have liked but eventually I wound up in front of one of those little café places. There was a nice looking old man sitting at a table out front and I went up to ask him but he saw me first.
“Hey there little lady!” His whole face changed when he smiled. Wrinkles moved around and stuff and it looked really silly but I didn’t giggle. “Where’d you come from? For that matter, where you going?”
I know most parents tell their kids not to talk to strangers but my-
“I’m looking for ice cream.” I said. He just nodded and smiled again, like little girls came up to him asking for ice cream in the middle of the night all the time.
“Well, you come to the right place then.” He pointed up at the cafe’s sign. The name was Sweet Temptations. “Do you have enough money for a sundae?” I hadn’t thought of that. My costume can rearrange to look like normal clothes but I don’t carry a purse or anything when I’m going out to fight bad guys. I guess it must’ve shown on my face cause he looked concerned for a second then cheered up real quick. “Hey now, why don’t you just go inside. Tell the young man behind the counter that I told you to get whatever you want, okay?”
“Thanks! I- I’ll pay you back, I promise.” There’s a bunch of rules and stuff that I don’t really understand but, basically, Legionnaires aren’t suppose to take too many favors from people. Something about public image and impartiality.
“No worries. This here’s my place so I can do whatever I want. Right now, I want to give you something to make you feel better. If you promise to come out and chat with me while you eat, we’ll call it even. Okay?”
I thought about it for a second. If it was a trade then it wasn’t a favor so that was alright. “Okay.”