Nighthawk stood there in the middle of the street, fists held up like a boxer. I laughed, I wasn't looking for a fist fight. I fired off one shot from my gun towards her. It caught her with an electric shock, which I could see arcing from her body. She rattled like a maraca, but remained on her feet. I had to hand it to the girl, she was pretty resilient.
With a shout of defiance, she flew towards me, her arm outstretched in a punch. Grinning, I dropped the gun, and braced for impact. My suit's armor took the brunt of the damage, but we both flew back several yards, towards the police cars behind me. I landed back first on the asphalt, and aimed a return punch at her ribs. We fought, back and forth, without any real coherent words for a few minutes, and then fell apart. I was breathing hard, but she wasn't. Quickly, I controlled my breathing.
"You'll never stop my master plan. Someday, all these people will see you for what you really--" I was interrupted in my monologue by another blow, this time a kick, to my stomach. The air was pushed back out of my lungs, and I narrowly avoided sinking my knees while catching my breath. She grabbed my collar and lifted me up several stories in the air.
"Or maybe they'll just see who you are." She said icily, her eyes behind the mask cold bits of steel. She threw me onto the roof of a nearby building, and flew away. I lay there in the gravel for a few minutes, bruised and battered, but satisfied.
I let the police clean up the robot. I would build another one, a better one, next time. I found my civilian clothes, tucked behind a dumpster near a pizza place a few blocks away from my lab, and changed quickly into a black leather jacket and jeans. My helmet turned black at the push of a button and I strode out of the alleyway with my cape and suit in a backpack.
"Hey, it's Jake!" The owner of the pizza place shouted in greeting. I waved a hand at him, but didn't respond, revving up my motorcycle, and only real source of transportation. I headed back to my apartment. I lived in a high rise not too far from Sky University, where I was attending classes. It was a pretty nice place. Two bedroom, two bathroom setup. My last roommate had ended up moving away, for personal reasons, and I had it to myself. For now. The landlord had already put out a request for another tenant in my name.
"Jake! That advertisement will go out tomorrow," The landlord said as I entered the building. "I expect you to fill that empty room by the end of the week."
"Yeah, yeah. It'll get done," I said, trying to dodge him and get to the elevator.
"I mean it, Katran. You've had all summer on your own in that apartment. It says on your lease, that two people must be staying in that apartment. It's get a roommate, or move out."
"I get it, I get it. I'll get a roommate, I promise." I said, finally managing to get into the elevator and close the door on him.
I entered my apartment, and then the soreness hit me. You try being thrown into streets and onto roofs. Armor only did so much. Fortunately, I had no head injuries. Limping like an old man, I removed my shirt lay down on my bed without bothering about sleeping in my jeans. I was out like a light.
The next morning, my soreness had turned to stiffness, and I could barely manage to get out of bed, but school was due to start on Monday, and I had to get a jump on my next plan of attack against Nighthawk or I would never have time to execute it.
I limped to the kitchen, and managed to pour myself a bow of cereal when there was a knock at my door. Groaning, I went and opened it, to see a pretty girl with long brown hair and big brown eyes standing outside, her hand poised to knock again. There was a backpack over her shoulder, and a newspaper in her hand.
"Hi," she said cheerfully.
"Hi," I replied, looking her up and down.
"Um, is this apartment 3B?" She asked, her eyes tracing over my bare chest, and the pattern of bruises there.
"Uh, yeah," I said, reaching for a shirt and pulling it on. "Can I help you?" She held up the newspaper, showing the ad my landlord had sent out. I glanced at it.
"I saw your ad in the paper," she said. "And I need a place to live. Can I come in?"
"Oh, yeah." I opened the door wider and stepped aside. She came in, taking in the furniture and spartan decor.
"Nice... place," she said.
"Thanks. Let's get down to business," I said, closing the door again. "Do you have any pets?"
"Any boyfriend, friends coming over? For security reasons."
"It's just me," she answered, her eyes wide and innocent.
"Alright. What's your name?"
"Jacob Katran." We shook hands. Despite her light frame, she had a firm grip. "I have two rules. Don't bring anyone home, and don't bother me while I'm working. If you are out past midnight, seriously consider staying someplace else before coming back here. Do you understand?"
"Yes, you won't have to worry--"
"Then I suppose you can stay in my spare room. The landlord will have a key for you, your half of the rent is due on the first." I swear she practically hugged me, before dashing out the door again.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you!" She babbled. "I'll go get my stuff." Then she was gone in a blur of long brown hair.
I sat down on the couch, still staring at the door as it swung slowly shut.
"Jake, what have you gotten yourself into?" I asked out loud, but my reflection in the coffee table didn't reply.