The city of Grendon was just the average metropolis for most people. It seemed no different than any other city in the United States with both highs and lows. It was littered with skyscrapers and destinations that was popular with tourists. Being located not too far from the Canadian border the winters could sometimes be pretty harsh. Thankfully it was the spring and things were finally beginning to warm up around the city.
However there was one matter that tarnished the good image of Grendon and that was the crime rate. It was much higher than most other cities in the country and it was a problem that was on the minds of most people in the city. The police force did all that they could to try and stop crime but so far their efforts hadn't made much of a difference. It seemed no matter how hard the force tried the crime rate didn't seem to fall but instead seemed to increase. The citizens feared to walk the streets as a robbery was almost so common that it was considered unusual not to hear of a robbery.
However despite the high crime rate there were good people who tried to live their lives in the best way possible. Such a person was a young adult named Sophie Bale who was just undertaking her senior year in High School. She was a tall girl who was an inch shy of being six feet tall with long red hair and piercing green eyes. She had a skinny frame which she wasn't too particularly proud of but had already made peace with it.
Like most students her age she was concerned most about graduating High School and then going onto the college of her choice. Due to her height she played on the school's basketball team and she was hoping to get a basketball scholarship and then play the game professionally. She wouldn't be the first person in her family to do so, her older sister Nicki was a professional volleyball player who played in the Turkish Volleyball League. Sophie wanted to follow in her sister's footsteps so to speak but with basketball rather than volleyball.
One thing that was letting Sophie down was her studies. She was passing her lessons but not to the degree that she would have liked, to get into the colleges that she wanted she needed to improve her grades but this was something that she found to be difficult. In this respect all she could do was sit down and crack on with her work.
There was someone helping Sophie to try and get a better grade and this was her best friend and fellow teammate Lizzie. Unlike Sophie Lizzie didn't have the height that was mostly associated with a basketball player. She only stood five and a half feet tall but there was one thing that she was gifted with on the court and that was speed. She could get passed any opponent before they even knew what had happened and the taller players were actually at a disadvantage.
Sophie and Lizzie had been friends for many years and each of them had their backs when needed. Lizzie was the smarter to the two and would help her best friend out whenever she could. Lizzie had short brown hair and hazel eyes along with a few freckles on her face that hadn't yet faded away. Their birthdays were also very close together so often they would celebrate them together as best friends should.
Sophie could also depend on her family for support whenever she needed it as well. Her father James was a tall man who stood six and a half feet tall and was originally from the United Kingdom. He had immigrated to the United States after meeting his wife and had settled there with her to raise a family. His wife and the mother of Sophie was named Susan, she had red hair and green eyes much like her daughters but she didn't have their height. Susan like Lizzie was only around five and a half feet tall which meant that there was a foot height difference between herself and her husband. The last member of the family in the home was Sophie's younger brother Sean who was in his freshman year in high school, he looked more like his dad and already stood at six foot two with short black hair and brown eyes. He had a passion for drawing and one day love to be an artist for a major comic book company since he loved comics and the superhero genre in general.
However superheroes were not entirely fictional. There were superpowered beings in the world who used their abilities for good and there were those that used them for heinous purposes. Unfortunately none of them lived in Grendon so the city would unfortunately not get the help that it needed.
The city desperately needed a hero to save it and its citizens from the seemingly unstoppable crime wave that had overtaken it. Little did the people know that very soon their prayers would be answered.
It seemed like any normal Monday afternoon for Sophie, she was having to sit another boring chemistry class, she found her mind beginning to drift but she tried to stay as focused as she could. She knew that if she failed this class she wouldn't be allowed to play for the basketball team.
One thing that she could take some comfort in was the fact that it was the last lesson of the day and then she could make her way back home and relax. Another plus for her was the fact that she wasn't too far away from another student named Tyler who she had a crush on. He was the bassist in his own rock group who she had watched perform every now and again. He had curly black hair and deep brown eyes that she found herself lost in. Although she knew a lot about him she knew that he didn't know anything about her except that she was a tall redhead that was in the same chemistry class.
Sophie began to daydream and she didn't notice the chemistry teacher approaching her. He was a man who was easily in his sixties and all the hair that he had left was grey. He cleared his throat but this didn't seem to catch Sophie's attention, he felt that he had to do something to keep her mind on track.
"Miss Bale," said the Chemistry Teacher with sharpness to his voice. This caught her by surprise and she quickly snapped out of her daydream. He approached her slowly while the rest of the class was watching. "You can daydream as much as you like in your own time but in my class I expect you to work. Need I remind you what would happen if you failed this class?"
"No Mr Tennant," replied Sophie in a timid voice. She felt embarrassed and this was exactly what Mr Tennant was aiming for. He hoped that this small amount of embarrassment would make her concentrate.
"Good now stay focused, what you're studying right now will be important for your final grade."
Mr Tennant walked away from her and Sophie gave a sigh. She looked down at the textbook again and there was a lot of information about particular chemical reactions but she did glance at Tyler and she couldn't help but smile. She couldn't wait to finish the lesson and do what she wanted. Thankfully she didn't have any homework to do so she felt like she was practically free the entire night.
Eventually the bell rang which signalled the end of the school day. Sophie packed her books away stood up to her full height. The other students had done the same but she was taller than most of the students. There were some boys in the class taller than her which included Tyler but when it came to the girls she was taller than all of them. She wasn't the tallest girl in the school though, that belonged to another girl who was around two or three inches taller than her.
Sophie wore a pink t-shirt with a sports logo on the centre along with blue years and white sneakers. She sometimes struggled to buy clothes due to her height but it wasn't impossible, she remembered when her sister had to go to a big and tall women's clothes store before she moved to Turkey. Sophie knew that she hadn't stopped growing yet however she was likely to only grow another inch or two which although made her much taller than the average woman it still wouldn't beat most of her family. She didn't mind this too much although the extra inches would be great on the basketball court.
Within minutes Sophie was outside of the school and sitting on a nearby bench she could see her best friend Lizzie waiting there for her. She had only been there for around a minute or so but she was happy to see her tall friend returning. One thing that they did look forward to was the fact that they had a free night. There was no basketball practice and there wasn't any outstanding homework that they needed to get back to. For the last few days they had been talking amongst each other about what they would be doing this night. Many ideas had come to mind.
One idea was going to the cinema to catch a film, the only problem was that there wasn't really any films that either of them were very keen on watching. The next was a trek around the mall which sounded enticing but neither of them had much money. Both had tried to get part time jobs but neither of them had much luck. In the end they decided that they went over to Lizzie's house for a little girl's night in since Lizzie's parents were currently out of town. They had already picked out which bad film that they were going to watch and Lizzie had stocked up on the popcorn.
Within minutes they were both at Lizzie's house which was a single storey building with a pretty nice garden to go with it. Her mother took pride with the garden and it really showed, it was such a shame that it was in a pretty rough area or else it would probably be appreciated by all those who walked passed.
Before long both girls were sitting down on the couch and watching the film. It was a terrible science fiction which was obviously done on a very cheap budget. The acting was terrible and the special effects were far from a Hollywood blockbuster. It was so bad that both girls were actually laughing at it even though it wasn't a comedy. It fell more into the category of so bad that it was good.
"Where the hell did you get this movie?" asked Sophie just before she ate some more popcorn. It was sweet popcorn and although she preferred toffee popcorn she didn't mind eating this.
"In a bargain bin at the supermarket," replied Lizzie who took a drink of soda. "If you want to find the worst films ever made you need to go there." Both women laughed and it almost seemed like their friendship would last forever. The bond that they shared was that strong. "So have you decided which college you're going to?"
"Not yet." She began to feel a little down. The thought of college scared her a little as she didn't think that she would get into one. "I'm just hoping that I can even get me into college. God gave me a great body to play basketball with but not the mind to pass all the classes to go there."
"Don't say that, I'm sure that you'll make it to college." There was one piece of key information that she wanted to tell her but she felt that she didn't have the heart to. That was the fact that she was looking to go to a prestigious college that was out of state. Although they had a basketball program she knew that Sophie wouldn't be able to enter. This would create a lot of physical distance between them and for now she wanted to keep the information to herself. "You're doing fine right now, you really shouldn't have to beat yourself up over it."
"I know I'm doing well now but I feel that I could slip up at any moment and then bam I'm spending the rest of my life flipping burgers." She gave a sigh as she thought that this was a real possibility. "I feel that basketball is the only thing that makes me special, without it I'm just some dummy whose going to be throwing away the rest of her life. I need to get that scholarship."
"And I'm sure that you will. Just as long as you study hard and pay attention in class you can pass. If someone like Dominic can pass then you're more than capable of." She knew that her friend's problem was the fact that she put herself down and didn't think she was as intelligent as she actually was.
"I can hope." She took a quick drink before the two women continued watching the film. If they had expected it to get any better they had been sorely mistaken. If anything it only seemed that it was getting worse. The story was completely weak and the effects looked like it was done by a college student.
Eventually the film did come to an end and to both women it was a welcome relief. However both of them noticed that it was late. One thing that they had on their side though was that it was Friday and they had the weekend ahead of them. However for Lizzie she had to go and visit family in the morning which meant that she needed to have an early night. For this reason she and her best friend had to part ways for the night.
Rather than calling for a cab or asking a family member to come and pick her up she decided to walk back to her home. It was only roughly a ten minute walk from Lizzie's home and she felt that she needed to stay in shape. If she let herself go at all she might be dropped from the basketball team and then to her she would have no future.
The two students said their goodbyes to one another and Sophie began the walk back to her own home. The streets were dark and although she knew about the crime rate she thought that she would be fine. She didn't have anything that she thought was valuable and thus she would be somewhat safe. She had also made the trek many times over the years without incident and she didn't think tonight would be any different.
Eventually Sophie went to walk passed a nearby alley when she began to hear something. She decided to stop for a moment to try and hear what was taking place. From what she could hear was someone struggling. She wanted to keep walking but curiosity seemed to get the better of her as she decided that she would check it out. She thought that it could have been someone in danger.
Sophie carefully walked down the alley and she eventually could see what looked like a small African American man being held up by another man who was taller but also very skinny. He had a very slim face as well which she thought was due to some kind of substance abuse. All she could hear was the taller man demanding for money and the African American man trying to comply but was too nervous to do so.
Now more than ever Sophie thought about turning away and forgetting what she was seeing but something inside her made her stay. She could see that the victim was more or less helpless and the police wouldn't be there in time to help him. She could see the large knife that was being held by the mugger and she feared that he could do a lot of damage with it. She knew that despite of her better judgement she needed to do something to help. Even if it meant that she could be hurt herself.
The mugger hadn't noticed Sophie's arrival as he was completely fixated on his victim. He was beginning to become impatient and was very tempted to use the knife to get what he wanted. He was around six feet tall and his victim was a good half a foot shorter than him and was physically inadequate to him.
Before the mugger even had a chance to use his knife he felt a sharp impact to the back of his head and this made him fall to the ground. His world went black and he didn't see Sophie standing over him with a large piece of wood that she had picked up nearby. She almost seemed horrified by what she had done and she began to think that she might have done the worst thing that she had ever done.
"Oh my God is he…?" asked Sophie as she looked down at the mugger who hadn't moved since she struck him.
"Dead no he is not," replied the Victim as he used his foot to turn the mugger onto his back. Both of them could see that he was breathing and to Sophie this was the most joyous thing that she had ever seen. "He'll have a sore head when he wakes up but he'll live, now I suggest that we make ourselves scarce before he does wake up. There is a little something that I would like to discuss with you before you return to your journey."
"Err what's that?" She began to become a little nervous as she began to think that he might be more violent than he first appeared. Although she towered above him and that it looked like a gust of wind could blow him over she knew that looks could be deceiving. For all she knew he could be worse than the mugger she had stopped.
"Like me are you upset with how crime has more or less taken over our city and regular folks are living in fear while the crooks rule the streets?" There was a small amount of firmness in his voice as if what he was speaking was something that he truly believed in. It wasn't exactly what Sophie was expecting to hear but it was much better than other things that she had considered.
"Yeah but it's not like we could do that much about it." The truth was that she too wasn't too impressed with the state of the city's crime. For almost as long as she could remember she knew that the city was more dangerous than most others in the country.
"Now my dear what if I told you that there was?"
"I would say that you were grasping at straws. The problem is too big for people like us to handle."
"But I have a big solution to the problem. There is something that I've been working on that could help a lot of people but it is something that we can't really discuss out here. I request that you follow me to my lab and I can explain everything to you there. Of course if you don't want to come that's fine, I can see how this whole situation is a little hard to believe. You save a man and then he offers to take you somewhere that you haven't been to witness something that is highly unlikely. To tell you the truth it does sound ludicrous but I assure you that it is all true. And with your help we could truly help this city in more ways then you could imagine."
"O-Ok." This had taken her a few moments to make up her mind. She thought that she might be making a mistake but she admitted to herself that something needed to be done about the crime problem in the city.
"Great, now it is only a short walk and I thank you for trusting me. That is something that can be hard to come by nowadays. Please follow me and I'll show you the wonder that I have been able to create."
The man began to walk away and Sophie followed him. She felt that she might be making a mistake but she carried on anyway. There was something about him that she felt was trustworthy, the way that he had spoken made her think that he truly believed in what he was saying. He was also one of the least physically intimidating men she had ever met and his voice had been soft.
As they walked the man introduced himself as Doctor Julius Wilson and even showed her his driving license just to confirm who he was and give Sophie one more reason to trust him. She introduced herself as well but she didn't have any title like Doctor to put in front of her name.
Eventually both Sophie and Doctor Julius came to a large warehouse that he owned. This was basically where he lived and worked. He took his keys out from his pocket and opened the small side door rather than the larger doors. At first Sophie could see nothing as the lights were switched off. However when Julius switched them on she could see the vast space was filled with technology that she couldn't really comprehend.
In one corner she could see what seemed to be a living area which consisted of a bed, small kitchen and there was another small door which she thought led to the bathroom. There was also a small chair with a TV and a table nearby. Everything else inside the warehouse was scientific which included what seemed to be an advanced computer plus work stations for Julius to work at. She looked around and she was in some amazement, she even looked up at the ceiling and saw that it was at least thirty feet high. The warehouse itself was very large and if she hadn't seen it with her own eyes she would have thought that it was only used by some kind of corporation rather than a single person.
"Welcome to my humble abode," said Julius as he allowed Sophie to look around for a moment. "It might not be a five star hotel but it is home for me and my workstation as well." He laughed for a moment. "I know many people complain about commuting to work but that's one problem that I don't have."
"Wait you live here?" replied Sophie in a small amount of disbelief. Almost all of her fears of harm had disappeared and she thought about everything that she was seeing. It almost looked like she had stepped into the lab of a mad scientist.
"Yep I live and work here." He chuckled a little and rubbed the back of his head. "I don't have much of a social life."
"W-what exactly are you doing here?" She could see all the equipment that was lying around and she could even begin to imagine how to use any of them. "Are you planning something big?"
"In a way yes and I was really hoping that you could assist me." This made her feel nervous again. She still had no idea what he was planning and exactly how she was going to help him with his plan.
"Yes, as you said like me you're sick of the state of this city. Crime has gotten out of hand and the police are powerless to do anything about it. Most cynical people would want to burn the city and be done with it. However I have a better idea, you of course are aware of the so called superheroes littered across the world?"
"Yes?" She didn't know where the conversation was going but rather than leaving her curiosity began to get the better of her.
"I thought that I could make one for our city and after much time and effort I think I've been successful. That is where you come in my dear, you're not like other people, you seem very righteous and willing to do the right thing."
"You really think so?" She had been called many things in her life but righteous was not one of them.
"Of course, most people would have simply walked away when seeing someone in danger like you saw me earlier. You decided to stay and help even though you were putting yourself at risk. That is something that is rare to come across and I see you as the perfect person to be this city's hero. To be a symbol to the criminals that this city isn't their playground, the people are taking back what belongs to them."
"You want to make me a superhero?" She had seen many news reports about superheroes and she had seen how crime rates fell in cities that were patrolled by these heroes. It was not just because of them fighting crime but they also acted as a deterrent for those who were contemplating a life of crime. Her face began to light up as she thought about flying through the air and lifting buildings in an effort to help others. "Will I get super strength or the ability to fly?"
"Yes you will in a manner of speaking. But before we continue on if you do choose this life I can't guarantee that it will be easy, you'll be putting yourself at risk almost on a daily basis to help others. By accepting this you are on your way to truly being great."
"I-I accept." She needed to think for a few moments and she decided that this was something that she wanted to do. It was not the fame of being a superhero that made up her mind but the fact that there were people who needed her help. If that meant putting herself at risk she was willing to do that.
"Good, now there is something that I need to show you." He indicated that he wanted her follow him. Sophie did as she was told as she followed Julius to another section of the warehouse which was in the far corner from where they had been. There she saw a large computer console which had many screens in front of it. It looked to be a very complicated and she couldn't begin to think about how to operate it.
There was something else by the console that she noticed. This was a one piece black suit along with black boots and some matching gloves. They were on a nearby table and Doctor Julius walked over to them and picked up the suit. He lifted it up so that Sophie could see it and she didn't really know what to make of it. The suit looked to be very plain although there were some pockets located around the suit which were used for storing a wide range of different objects. It also looked to be a little small at first when she got a little closer to it and had a better look.
"This my dear is the jewel in my crown," said Doctor Julius. "This is what you'll be using to fight crime and clean up the streets." There was an enormous amount of pride in his voice as he truly felt that this suit was the best invention since sliced bread.
"What does it do?" replied Sophie with a small amount of wonder in her own voice. Doctor Julius allowed her to take a hold of it and when she compared it to her body she did see that it was small for her. "It's a little small." This was something that she was used to since she was a tall girl.
"Don't worry, it's incredibly stretchy and believe me you'll find out what it does. Now if you want to visit my bathroom and put the suit on you're more than welcome. And before you think anything yes it is perfectly clean. I take great pride in keeping my living and work space clean at all times. I'm never sure when I'll get guests."
Sophie was pointed towards where the bathroom was and she walked towards it. Before leaving she had picked up the boots and gloves as well. They all looked quite small and she didn't think any of them would fit her. When she did reach the bathroom she could see that Doctor Julius was telling the truth, it looked incredibly clean as if it were professionally done. She had even stayed at hotels with bathrooms that weren't this clean.
Over the course of a minute Sophie took off the clothes that she was wearing and began to put the suit on her body. She was amazed to see it beginning to stretch to fit her long body. It originally seemed like it was built to fit Doctor Julius but as she put it on her body it moulded to her. When she was finished the suit fitted her perfectly, it was as if it were tailor made for her. The same happened when she put her boots and gloves on, originally they looked too small but when she went to put them on they stretched to accommodate her longer hands and feet.
When she was finished she walked back to Doctor Julius and she was beginning to think that she was actually making a mistake. She did like the idea of being a superhero but she still had a little doubt in the back of her mind. But she saw that Doctor Julius was happy to see her wearing the suit. She was completely covered in the black suit, only her head remained unclothed.
"Ah that looks fantastic," said Doctor Julius. He thought that it suited her well as she had to look up while he approached her. "Now that you're all suited up I can fire up this baby and show you what it does."
"Maybe we should slow down a little," replied Sophie. There was a small amount of caution in her voice. "I'm still not sure about all of this."
"Don't worry about it. I assure you that everything is perfectly safe. Now would you do me a favour my dear and just stand in that empty space for me? Then I can show you what that suit actually does."
There was still some doubt in Sophie's mind but she did step towards the open space like she had been instructed. She had no idea what was going to happen but when she did reach the space she saw Julius walking over to the console. There was a smile on his face and he began to type away at the keyboard. On the screens he could see numerous things which included an image of Sophie's skeleton and heart rate. There were several other important pieces of information on the screens which were all Sophie's vitals, there was also a central large screen but this remained blank for the time being. He looked over to Sophie to check whether she was in position.
"Ok Sophie are you ready?" asked Doctor Julius. He wanted to see how surprised she was when he activated the suit.
"I guess I am," replied Sophie who was now getting some butterflies in her stomach. She began to regret eating all that popcorn earlier.
"Great." He continued to press away at the keys. "Activating the suit in five… four… three… two… one…" Then he pressed the enter key and the magic of science began to take hold of the situation.