“Gooooooood morning Metropolis! It’s Im Yeojin with your traffic watch updates. Those driving downtown by route 63 should take note - there will be a slight delay, with a likelihood of falling cat fur as Beast Girl chases down some bank robbers.
“Over by Metropolis Park, be prepared to stay indoors while Miss Incredible hurls some police cars at our favourite psychedelic supervillain: D-Dragon.
“And all’s well at the junction by East Square as Choerry chases away a spot of bad weather to help a little old lady cross the road. Can you say best girl?
“And that’s all for your morning update - oh, wait, wait. Hang on. I’m getting something. There’s a plane! Headed straight for the Daily Planet! It’s about to crash! And -
“Bam! The plane stops! Who could it be? Is it Miss Incredible, defeating D-Dragon just in time to save our journalists from disaster? Harpy, using her shrieks to stop the plane?
“No! It’s the newest superhero on the block - our yet unnamed super! Whoooo could she be? We still don’t have a name yet so - hush, Susan, I’m trying to give the news - so we’re counting on ace reporter Jung Jinsol to name her just like she named our past two supers!
“And now, that’s all for our morning update folks. Remember to give our favourite supers a shoutout if you do see them! This is Im Yeojin, signing out.”
“Again! We missed her by seconds!” Vivi stormed around the bullpen, waving her phone in the air. “Are you telling me we had three reporters on scene and we didn’t even get a single shot?”
“She was too fast! Before we even knew it, she had already set the plane down on the ground and disappeared,” protested Heejin.
“Well, I don’t care. There is a new superhero, and I’ll be damned if I let the Morning Star get an exclusive with her before we can! Where’s Jung Jinsol?”
Over by her desk, Jinsol growled as she held her phone up to her ear.
Five calls and yet she wasn’t picking up.
“Jinso - ”
“Sh!” Jinsol held a finger up to Chaewon. “I swear to god, if she doesn’t pick - hello?”
Jinsol furrowed her eyebrows at the faint sound of panting on the other end. “You were running?”
“Uh… Yeah. Bank robbery. Beast Girl got to them before we could though.”
“Oh. Um right. Should you even be on the phone?”
“It’s fine - I have a minute. You wanted something?”
Oh, yes. Jinsol nearly forgot. “I wanted to remind you - we have that awards ceremony tonight, at 7. I’ll pick our dresses up from the dry cleaner, but don’t forget your heels.”
Jinsol bristled. “Yes, Sooyoung. The Story of the Year award that I’m getting for my exposé on the League of Extraordinary Ladies. Don’t tell me you forgot again.”
“Forgot? Me? Definitely not. I just wanted to confirm. Don’t worry, I’ll be there. I’ll pick you up at 6.”
A pause. Then: “I love you.”
“…I love you too. Stay safe.” With a sigh, Jinsol put her phone back down on her table. Her eyes drifted up - and she jumped at the sight of a red-faced Vivi, standing in front of her desk with her arms crossed. “Jesus, Chief! Make some noise, will you?”
Vivi glared at her. “Done with your social call?”
“Good.” Vivi thrust a picture into her hand. Jinsol examined the grey pixels that seemed to form the vague shape of a flying human. “Here. It’s that new superhero. I want an exclusive.”
“Wait,” Jinsol called after Vivi’s retreating back. “No leads? No oh-I-know-someone-who-might-know-someone-who-might-know-something? Really? Ugh.” She groaned and sank into her seat, throwing the printed photo on her table. Seriously, who had cameras this bad nowadays?
“Bad day?” Jungeun hovered over her desk, her steaming mug of coffee drawing spirals in the air. She held out a chocolate bar and winked.
Jinsol ripped it open immediately, moaning as she crammed the squares into her mouth. “You’re the best. A lifesaver. Love you. I would kiss you if I weren’t married.”
Jungeun turned pink, the corners of her mouth curving up. Jinsol felt Chaewon’s eyes on them.
“Why the hell would you lead the poor girl on like that?” Chaewon demanded, as soon as Jungeun was out of earshot. “You know she likes you.”
“No, she doesn’t. She’s just sweet. Anyway,” Jinsol said, throwing items into her handbag - her notebook, her pen, a swiss army knife - and carrying it over her shoulder. “I’m off. Gonna get my dress. If Vivi asks where I am, tell her I’m dead.”
With a tall, double-eaved roof, and golden dragons on its four tips, the Gold Standard Hotel was the place of choice for the rich and well-connected to rub shoulders, its tackiness notwithstanding.
It was also a place that Jinsol was intimately familiar with.
As the chauffeur drove their rented limo off, Jinsol placed her hand in Sooyoung’s, allowing her wife to lead her to where the contingent of photographers waited by the red carpet, bright lights flashing.
“You look good today,” Sooyoung murmured, her low voice sending a pleasant hum through Jinsol’s body.
They turned as the photographers on the other end yelled at them, Jinsol raising her hand in a wave. Beside her, Sooyoung stood stiffly, her arm locking Jinsol’s hand in an iron hold.
“Relax,” Jinsol breathed. “Just smile.”
“Hard to when I feel like a clown in this getup.”
Jinsol sighed. “It’s just for three hours, Sooyoung.”
She was almost glad when Sooyoung chose to respond with only a grunt; she wasn’t sure if she could handle an argument right at this moment, with all eyes on her.
“Miss Jung! How does it feel to be on the shortlist for Story of the Year? How confident are you?” yelled the photographers.
Jinsol merely smiled and waved, fully playing the part of the unsuspecting winner. To the public, if there was anything worse than a sore loser, it was an overeager winner. Jinsol would know. She’s written far too many stories on internet backlash to let that happen to her.
Photo time over, Jinsol and Sooyoung swept their way along the red carpet, and into the ballroom itself. The decor inside was even more opulent. Giant silver and gold chandeliers hung low from the ceiling, the golden bannisters polished till it shined, and rows and rows of waiters stood at attention at the sides of the hall, ready to serve at a moment’s notice.
“Fancy huh?” Vivi sidled up to them, glass half-empty, cheeks red. “That’s what happens when you’re a charity supported by the Blue House itself.” She then noticed Sooyoung. “Oh. The wife?”
“Vivi, this is Sooyoung. Sooyoung, my boss, Vivi.”
“Yes, I’ve heard all about you,” slurred Vivi, as she grabbed Sooyoung’s wrist and shook it. “The last time you bailed on Jinsol - was it Valentine’s Day? - she spent the rest of the evening writing and taking shots of whiskey from the office stash. Good day for me; I got two stories out of it.”
Jinsol froze. Seriously? “Vivi!” she hissed. To Sooyoung, she said, “She’s exaggerating. Ignore her. I stayed because I had work to do.”
Sooyoung was frowning. “I thought you said you were going to stop drinking,” she said, as Jinsol hooked her hand around Sooyoung’s arm and dragged her away.
“It was just a glass.” She took a plate, stuffed it into Sooyoung’s hands, and began loading it high with lobster and crab.
But Sooyoung wasn’t one of the best officers in the precinct for nothing. She ignored Jinsol’s attempts to distract her, and said, “She said shots. How wasted did you get?”
“Just a little tipsy.” And because Sooyoung was looking at her like an unruly child, Jinsol whirled on her, annoyance rising in her chest. “Look, I don’t even know why you’re getting up on your high horse about this. You were the one who bailed on me last minute.”
“Because I had to work!” said Sooyoung, her cheeks turning pink.
“Yeah, yeah, it’s always about work, isn’t it?”
“Jinsol - ”
“Okay, stop.” Jinsol held up a hand. “I’m not doing this with you now. I’m supposed to be celebrating an achievement here tonight. This is my night.”
Sooyoung clenched her jaw, the muscles in her cheek jumping. But she nodded anyway, a short jerk of her head, before snatching a glass of champagne off a passing waiter.
Plates full of food, they made their way to the tables by the front, set aside for the nominees of night.
“Irene.” Jinsol smiled sweetly at her. “What a pleasure.”
“Hm. Can’t say the same.” Irene turned away.
Sooyoung quickly wrestled Jinsol into her seat before she could punch Irene. Jinsol snatched her hand out of Sooyoung’s grasp just as the lights dimmed, and a woman in a sparkly red dress made her way to the podium.
“Good evening - Madam Mayor, nominees, distinguished guests. I’m Kim Jiwoo and I’ll be your host for today.”
There was a sharp whoop from the back of the hall, and Jinsol turned round to see a group of fans holding a giant pink banner that read: WE LOVE YOU KIM JIWOO.
“I’ve interviewed her before,” Irene was saying in a low murmur to her companion. “Sweet girl. Little airheaded. But such a fantastic voice - she sang a little for me.” Her eyes slid left towards Jinsol. “Pity you didn’t get that interview, huh, Jinsol?”
“Yeah, the same way it would be a pity if I were to punch your - ow!” She whipped around to glare at Sooyoung. “That hurt!”
“Come on, babe, it’s not worth it,” whispered Sooyoung.
“Yeah, Jinsol,” said Irene, smirking. “Better tuck into your lobster. God knows the next time you’ll get to eat properly. I hear they’re giving out food stamps instead of paychecks over at the Daily Planet now.”
Fuming, Jinsol folded her hands in her lap, her gaze burning holes into the beautifully designed backdrop on the stage. Journalism Year in Review. Year in Review. Year in Review, Jinsol reminded herself. She was here for an award. An award which was definitely going to her, an award which she was going to rub into Irene’s smug, smug face.
Pure spite gave Jinsol the strength to sit through the mayor’s opening address, through the first round of awards, until finally, Kim Jiwoo took the stage for the final award.
“This is it!” she said, her voice shaking the ballroom. “This is the award we’ve all been on the edge of our seats for - story of the year! We have… Irene Bae, for her story on anti-fans; Jung Jinsol, for her exposé on the League of Extraordinary Ladies; Do Kyungsoo, for his work on the world’s most famous runaway cat; aaaand Kim Seokjin, for his story on assault of front-line medical workers!
“But first, let’s welcome Metropolis’s youngest mayor, Jo Haseul, to give the award out!”
A round of thunderous applause. Haseul stood and waved to the crowd as she walked to the podium, her electric blue pantsuit a sharp contrast to the pearl white backdrop. She was definitely going to come out well on camera, Jinsol thought, with a raised eyebrow.
“Thank you, thank you,” said Haseul. “It’s an honour to be here with you tonight, with all the distinguished members of the media, many of whom have risked their lives writing the stories that we see here tonight. But without further ado…” She took the red envelope from Jiwoo. “The winner for Story of the Year is…”
Jinsol sucked in a deep breath, her heart pounding furiously in her ears. This was it. She squeezed her hands in her lap. This was the award she had been waiting for all her life. The award she had sacrificed relationships, sleep, and her personal life for. This was -
“Irene Bae! Congratulations!”
The entire ballroom erupted into a standing ovation. Stunned, Jinsol could only sit and stare at Irene clasped her hands over her mouth, her eyes filling with tears as she gathered the train of her dress and walked slowly towards the stage.
“Jinsol…” said Sooyoung.
But Jinsol only had eyes for Irene, walking up the stage with careful steps as photographers rushed to the front to jostle for the best position. Jinsol had been so confident, so sure, that it would be hers. Her source at the Association even told her that she had been the favourite.
Yet now, as the only one seated at the table - apart from Sooyoung - Jinsol just felt small.
Irene tapped the mic. “Thank you,” she said, her voice still hoarse from tears. “This is such a great honour. There are just so many great journalists here tonight, and I want to honour them too. All the other nominees have written such fantastic, moving stories. I can’t believe - !”
Whatever pretentious speech Irene had rehearsed never got to be complete. The ceiling shattered, rained debris over screaming audiences.
Jinsol shrieked. Someone knocked her over. Irene and Haseul froze on stage, eyes wide.
Then, she saw them.
Four masked men hung from the broken ceiling, guns firing at random into the crowd. But there! There was one more person, swooping in from above. Flying.
Immediately, someone grabbed her and shoved her under the table.
“Stay here,” Sooyoung said, voice low and urgent. Before Jinsol could say anything, or drag her under the table, to keep her safe, she drew her handgun and ran off.
“Sooyoung!” screamed Jinsol, but Sooyoung was gone, eaten up by the crowd.
She waited under the table, palms sweating, heart racing. Where did Sooyoung go? She had to go after her. The thought of Sooyoung anywhere near the gunfire - of getting hurt - pushed her into a kneeling position.
All around her - chaos. She peeked out from the table. There were bodies lying around. Everyone else had found a place under a table or behind a pillar. And on the stage, the mayor backed against the wall by her bodyguards.
The four gunmen had stationed themselves at each corner of the stage. Meanwhile, the flying woman floated her way towards the platform. Jinsol whipped her head in all directions. No Sooyoung in sight.
Instead, she spotted her purse a few feet away. Creeping close to the floor, she crawled towards her purse and ripped it open. Her phone fell out. There was nothing on her phone either. A silly thought, she realised. Sooyoung could hardly be texting her at this time, could she?
By now, the flying woman was incredibly close to the mayor.
“Jo Haseul,” she said, her calm voice reverberating around the room. “You should have known better than to turn up. I think we gave you fair warning.”
This was… a disaster.
Jinsol immediately scrambled to her feet, pointing her phone’s camera at the two women as she went live on twitter. A direct report, straight to her 1.2 million followers. She could see the comments scrolling, the reactions flying, the closer she got to the stage. She just needed to angle her camera… to get the best view of the flying woman’s face, and -
“THERE!” One gunman pointed at her. “GRAB THE CAMERA!”
Almost as if in slow motion, Jinsol saw the man’s mouth open again, three guns rising up to point at her. She watched their fingers twitch, squeezing the trigger, and before she could react, there was a gust of wind, and then - a shadow.
The guns exploded in a growing staccato ratatata as Jinsol looked up and met the hard brown eyes of a masked woman. She barely flinched as the bullets bounced off her back, falling to the ground with a hollow rattle.
Jinsol blinked. And then the masked woman was on the stage, taking down the gunmen with nothing but a flick of a finger (just how many powers did this woman have?). Her hands shook as she watched the super approach the would-be assassin through the stream on her phone.
“Let her go,” said the super, voice distorted.
Smart, Jinsol allowed. Anyone who knew Metropolis well enough would know that there were enough recorders around to run a quick match on anyone’s voice in the city.
That meant she was definitely someone who lived in the city.
The supervillain merely drew her blade closer to the mayor’s throat in response. Jinsol could hear Haseul choking even half a room away.
“Who sent you? ” the super said again, hands on her hips. Both hovered slightly above ground, circling each other like a bull and his matador.
Jinsol watched as the villain smiled, the edge of her blade biting into the mayor’s neck, a thin line of blood welling up. But before either of them could react, a supersonic screech shattered what was left of the ceiling, sending shards raining.
Jinsol’s phone fizzled and died.
The Justice Union landed in a circle around the villain.
“You’re surrounded!” said Harpy. “Drop the mayor! We can do this nicely or… not very nicely!”
The villain looked around, appearing to calculate her chances, before she slowly lowered her blade. In a blink, she threw the mayor towards the Union. Then she exploded in a flash of smoke and light. Jinsol was left reeling.
All around her, people were starting to crawl out from their hiding spots. Jinsol watched the four supers go around till one of them stopped in front of her.
“Oh. It’s you.” Miss Incredible crossed her arms. “Couldn’t stick your nose out of this one too, could you?”
“Excuse you.” Jinsol drew herself up to her tallest height - dismayed to find that she was still that bit smaller than Miss Incredible. “I am a guest.”
“Right. Of an award ceremony to celebrate the fact that you single-handedly ruined the lives of five women? Amazing.”
“The public needed to know - ”
“Their secret identities? Get off your high horse, Jung Jinsol.”
“Hey.” Choerry threw out an arm. “Stop it. Don’t let her get to you. We’ve done what we came here for. Let’s go.”
None of them spared Jinsol a second look as they started to disperse - while Harpy and Choerry flew off, Beast Girl turned into a giant vulture and picked Miss Incredible up by her claws. Jinsol watched them disappear, four fading spots in the night.
“Hey Miss,” said a waiter, tapping her shoulder. “Your phone has been ringing for a while.”
She glanced down, jumped as she saw Sooyoung’s name flash on her revived phone.
“Where the hell did you go?” she said, as she soon as she picked up.
“Hello to you too,” joked Sooyoung. She sounded winded.
“Sooyoung! You can’t run off like that! Do you know how worried I was?”
There was a short pause. “Sorry,” said Sooyoung. “I had to go help out. We’re trying to lock the city down now so she can’t escape. I’ll be back late.”
“But - ” began Jinsol, then stopped. What was the point anyway? Nothing she said would make a difference. “Alright,” she finally said. “I guess I’ll see you home.”
“Jinso - ”
She tucked her phone in her pocket, picked up her things, and trudged to the hotel’s entrance where taxis waited to ferry her straight home.
That night, in their cramped apartment, Jinsol looked out over the city of Metropolis. Her laptop screen flashed a blinding white in the darkness, but still, Jinsol couldn’t bring herself to switch on the lights.
She preferred it like this. To write under the red, blue and yellow glow of the city, it made her feel a little less alone.
Her phone buzzed. Jinsol frowned as she saw another message from Sooyoung.
going to be really late tonight… dont wait up
Of course. Jinsol sighed, snapped her laptop screen shut. Whatever, she thought, despite the aching in her chest. It better to decompress alone anyway.
“Dude… you okay?”
“Huh?” Jinsol shot up in her seat, rubbing her eyes. Outside, the sky was dark; she had fallen asleep at her desk.
Chaewon clicked her tongue. “Wow. That fight really did a number on you, huh.”
Ever since Jinsol live-streamed the fight, all people wanted to talk to her about was the new superhero and supervillain. It was all her parents could talk about from their vacation in Greece, all Vivi and her colleagues could discuss during their daily pitch meetings, and all her friends would ever ask about when she met them for cocktails.
The only person who never asked was Sooyoung, but that was mostly because she was barely around anyway.
“No, but seriously.” Chaewon leaned over the partition. “You okay? You’ve been out of sorts since you lost that award to Irene.”
The reminder stabbed at her. “Thanks, Chaewon… But yes, I am - ” Defeated. Furious. Cheated out of what I deserve. “ - fine. She deserves it.” She smiled.
“You know you’re not fooling anyone with that, right?”
“Ugh fine.” Jinsol crumpled in her seat. “I’m so bitter. Her piece was terrible. It was basically a fluff piece with some great pictures. If anything, the award should have gone to Seulgi for taking the photos!”
“I know, I know.” Chaewon stroked her hair.
“This is so unfair. She probably bribed them - I know she did. They probably just gave it to her because they're gross old men and she’s absurdly beautiful. No one even cares about substance anymore!”
“Oh honey… What does Sooyoung think?”
“What does Sooyoung thi - pfft. Yeah, I’d love to know too. She’s spending so much time trying to track down this villain I don’t even see her anymore. We’ve probably spoken three times over the past two weeks.”
Chaewon frowned. “Still? I thought things got better over your birthday.”
“Yeah. She stayed for the entirety of one dinner. I guess that’s an improvement.”
“Well,” said Chaewon. “We all tried to warn you. I never really thought she was good enough for you.”
“No,” said Jinsol, hackles rising. “None of you liked her because she came from the wrong side of town. Just because she wasn’t educated at Metropolis U, because she can’t tell the difference between a Porsche and a Ferrari!”
Chaewon stared at her.
Jinsol sighed and rubbed her temples. “Sorry,” she muttered, after a pause. “It’s been a long day. Maybe I should just go home.” She packed up and heaved her bag over her shoulder.
“Hey.” Chaewon held her arm before she could leave. “For the record, I don’t like her not because she doesn’t know the difference between a Porsche and a Ferrari or her Austen and her Bronte. I don’t like her because I think she treats you like trash and you deserve better.”
“You should rest, Jinsol,” said Chaewon firmly. “Goodnight.”
Biting her lip, Jinsol draped her coat over her shoulder and emerged into the night. Rogue winds churned up bits of newspaper and cans, sending them rattling across the pavement. Jinsol shivered.
A line of taxis waited at the steps of the Daily Planet. But today, Jinsol wanted to walk. She needed some fresh air to process her argument with Chaewon.
It’s been a year since she met Sooyoung, Jinsol thought, fingering her wedding band. Six months of marriage. A little hasty, she had to admit. Her parents had been downright angry, her friends concerned, and even Jinsol’s colleagues couldn’t help but comment on how out-of-character this was for her.
But what was time when you met someone whom you wanted to spend the rest of your life with? It was something she firmly believed at the time.
Now? She wondered if she should have waited.
She barely knew what Sooyoung did in her day-to-day job, much less visited her at the station. Did Sooyoung’s colleagues even know she had a wife? And Jinsol had only met Sooyoung’s adoptive parents twice - once when Sooyoung brought her home to the country, where she had proposed; and a brief greeting when they came for the wedding.
Lost in her thoughts, Jinsol only noticed the solid footsteps behind her when she was already halfway home. Goosebumps ran down her arm.
They were in a narrow, dimly-lighted street. Jinsol usually walked down this route on the way to work, but now, in the dead of the night, the familiar brick houses took on a forbidding, almost menacing aura. The footsteps followed at a steady pace.
Jinsol’s mind raced.
There were alleyways around that she could duck into, but she knew as well as anyone else that they all led to dead ends. She lengthened her strides, sped up her steps, only to hear the person behind her speed up too.
Overhead, a crow cried.
Jinsol fumbled with her phone, dialling Sooyoung’s number, only to curse under her breath when it went unanswered. Fuck. She reached into the bag, fumbling for her swiss army knife, only to hear the would-be mugger gaining on her.
Cold sweat broke out on Jinsol’s forehead.
Fuck it, she thought, and began sprinting. The man started running too. Frantic, Jinsol ducked down another the nearest alleyway, hoping to use the cover of the night to lose her pursuer. Except -
A hand grasped Jinsol’s shoulder.
Jinsol shrieked and kicked at the man, only to miss. His fingers tightened around her and she felt the barrel of a gun dig into her back.
“If you leave quietly, I’ll pretend this didn’t happen.”
Jinsol and her attacker froze. Slowly, they turned. A floating silhouette blocked the entrance to the alleyway, stark against the low yellow light.
Oh god. It was her. The new super.
Jinsol knees buckled in relief.
The man seemed to be considering his options. Then, faster than Jinsol could blink, he held her in a vice-grip, gun to her temple.
“Don’t come any closer!” he screamed, the sharp tang of burnt plastic filling the air.
Jinsol tugged at his arm, choking. She felt her ankle twist as the man strangled her.
“Put her down,” said the super, calm as ever.
The man dragged Jinsol further into the shadows as the silhouette floated closer. Jinsol forced herself to breath through her mouth. Blood pounding in her ears, sweat matting her forehead, hair stuck to her neck.
“Leave!” shouted the man. “Leave and I’ll let her go safely!”
“You know I can’t do that.”
“Back off!” The man swung his gun wildly before pressing it to Jinsol’s temple again. “I’ll shoot, I swear to god!”
But the superhero continued coming closer. The man clenched the trigger and Jinsol felt the chamber click.
“Oh my god, back off! He’s going to fucking shoot me!” Jinsol screamed.
The superhero paused.
The man relaxed his grip. “Good… Turn around. Leave the alley. I’ll - argh!”
His shot went flying, the bullet shooting upwards, his grip on her slackening. Jinsol collapsed and gasped. Beside her, the gun clattered on the pavement.
Turning, Jinsol’s eyes widened as the sight of the hero holding the purpling man in a chokehold, high above the ground.
“I told you to release her.”
The man coughed, eyes widening, hands scrabbling desperately at the hero’s hand.
Then, just as quick as she had picked him up, the super dropped him, knocking him out cold. She wrapped his hands together with a coil of rope before walking over to Jinsol.
A hand hovered in Jinsol’s line of sight. “You okay?”
Jinsol rubbed her neck, glared as she pushed herself to her feet. “Never better. Are you fucking insane? He could have shot me.”
The hero chuckled. Offended, Jinsol scoffed.
“Trust me,” said the hero, warm. “I wouldn’t have let anything happen to you.”
“Yeah, yeah, all you supers are the same. I’m not going to thank you for saving me.” She snatched her handbag off the ground, dusted her coat off, and limped her way out.
“What’s the rush?” The hero trailed after her - out of the alleyway and into the wide street. “Got somewhere to be? Not going to get into trouble like last time, are you?”
Jinsol stopped short and squinted at the woman under the dim glow of the streetlamps. They were of a similar height, although Jinsol couldn’t be sure, not with the way the woman was hovering in mid-air. But she was built surprisingly small, Jinsol noted, all narrow shoulders and thin limbs, made all the more stark with her loose pants and fitted jacket.
If she hadn’t seen her take down a giant man in the blink of an eye, she would scarcely believe the woman to be a superhero herself.
The woman adjusted the mask on the upper face of her face. “Like what you see?”
A beat. Jinsol blinked.
“What? Sorry, are you… flirting with me right now?”
“...no?” The woman shifted.
Jinsol scoffed again. Unbelievable. This was just turning out to be another nightmare in a series of nightmares. She rested her back against the cool brick wall, feeling her ankle throb. There was no way she was going to be able to walk home like this.
“You sprained your ankle,” said the hero. She was still hovering around Jinsol.
At this point, Jinsol was starting to get annoyed. “Don’t you take a hint? Just drop that guy off at a police station and leave me alone.”
“He’ll be out cold for a few hours. I can do one kind deed and come back and get him.”
“Kind dee - ? Ah!” Jinsol screeched as the hero looped her arm around her neck and lifted her straight off the ground in a bridal hold. “Wait! I didn’t say you could pick me up!”
The hero paused. “Do you want me to put you down?” she asked, uncertain. “I mean… I thought I would just fly you home.”
“Fly… fly me home?”
“You… live nearby, don’t you?”
“Uh…” She considered her options. She could insist on walking home herself, which would mean hobbling the entire way. There was no way any taxi was coming for her here. And she didn’t know whether she could even count on Sooyoung to pick her up at this point.
“You can drop me off at the roof of the Daily Planet,” she said instead. At the hero’s puzzled look, she raised her eyebrow. “What, like I’m about to tell a stranger where I live?”
There was a short pause. Then the hero laughed. “Fair enough. Daily Planet it is then.”
Jinsol circled the hero’s neck with her arms as the hero leapt into the air, her mind racing, trying to take in the full reality of the moment. She was flying above the city. God.
She buried her head in the hero’s neck as the icy wind hit them.
“Cold?” The hero's arms tightened. “Hold on. I’ll get you there in a minute.”
They shot past the tall buildings, through the skyline, and into the night. Metropolis splayed out below her in all its moving lights. Jinsol had never really had the chance to see the city like this - unfettered, free - the grand sweep of its roads and buildings leaving her breathless.
“Amazing, right?” There was a softness to the hero’s voice that Jinsol couldn’t quite place. Tenderness? Wistfulness? “Sometimes I wish I could take others up here, to see the world like how I see it.”
“Why don’t you?” asked Jinsol, mesmerised. Under the bright, full moon, Jinsol could make out her eyes - a warm, honeyed brown. It felt achingly familiar, so familiar.
“No one else knows who I am.”
“Not even your family?”
“I didn’t tell her.”
So she wasn’t alone in the city then. A girlfriend? A wife?
The superhero looked at her, a smile playing on her lips. “Anyone ever told you that you ask too many questions?”
“Yeah. Loads of times. Don’t change the topic.”
The woman laughed. “You really are a reporter, through and through.” She paused, looking at a point over Jinsol’s shoulder. Then, after a silence: “I don’t want her to get hurt. My enemies would use her against me.”
“Your enemies.” Jinsol snorted. “There you lot go again. You’re not as great as you make yourselves out to be, you know? You can’t do everything. Can’t save everyone…” She swallowed.
The hero merely hummed. They flew in silence until they started to descend sharply. Jinsol looked out and recognised the ever-bright globe on the Daily Planet building.
“Here’s where I leave you,” said the hero as she landed on the roof. “You can get home safely?”
Jinsol tested her weight on her right ankle, pleased to note that it held up well. “Don’t worry. I’ll live.”
“Good.” The corners of the woman’s lips quirked up. “Get home safe, Miss Jung Jinsol.”
“Wait - how do you - ”
But the woman was gone, stolen off like a thief into the night. Jinsol shook her head, scoffed.
By Jung Jinsol
METROPOLIS - You know her, I know her, we know her. Two months ago, a new superhero arrived in town. But who is she? That is the question that continues to boggle observers, even as Metropolis watches her perform save after save.
Just two weeks ago, she was the first on site after a new supervillain attempted to assassinate incumbent Mayor Jo Haseul. She managed to thwart the villain, which earned her the city’s gold Medal for Super-bravery, an award given out - effectively monthly - to superheroes for extraordinary acts of heroism.
Ms Jo was quoted as saying: “Brilliant. Spectacular. Show-stopping. I have never seen a more heroic act of bravery. And I don’t know why I was being targeted. It’s just absurd that anyone would want to disrupt Government like this. I am very thankful to this… this uh, wonderful lady for her help.”
And Wonder Girl’s heroism does not stop there. Even before rescuing Ms Jo, Wonder Girl saved the city from a crashing plane, foiled two bank robberies, and stopped a jumping man seconds after he leapt off the top of Government House. All in the same day.
Pictures by the Daily Planet and several other outlets suggest that the new hero may be a part of the Justice Union, a superhero group comprising Beast Girl, Miss Incredible, Harpy and Choerry.
The group stepped up in the vacuum of the dissolution of League of Extraordinary Ladies, after media reports revealed corruption and collusion...